Best 5 Beethoven Books on Amazon
1.Beethoven: The Universal Composer by Edmund Morris
2.Beethoven by Maynard Solomon
3.Beethoven: The Music and the Life by Lewis Lockwood
4.Late Beethoven: Music, Thought, Imagination by Maynard Solomon
5.Beethoven as I Knew Him by Anton Felix Schindler
Beethoven's Symphony No. 2
Symphony No. 2 in D major, op.36 was elaborated in the summer of 1802 in Heilligenstadt when Beethoven was fighting to get control over his life. In this period he will write his famous letter to his brothers known under the name of The Heilligenstadt Testament expressing the two attitudes so often found in the composer’s work: resignation in the face of death which he feels is so close and the revolt of a man who loved people in general, who was passionate about art and who was ambitious and eager to succeed. But even so, few instances betray the composer’s horrible turmoil. The themes of Part I are of an incredible vigor simulating a "joyful fanfare aria" , and the mirthfulness of the finale stand as proof of the vigor he had despite everything.
It was performed in first audition with the composer himself as the conductor in Vienna on April 5th 1803, and can be justly considered "a touching addition to the Heilligenstadt Testament."
The symphony starts with a slow introduction – Adagio molto – made up of three sections which representing the junction of thematic elements, dramatic and lyrical ones.
Part I – Allegro con brio – is constructed in the shape of a sonata with a thematic material of great simplicity “leaving the impression of dignity, mature and serious vision of life, of destiny.”
Part II – Larghetto – can be considered one of the high points of Beethoven ‘s creation. The themes are of great beauty and serenity expressing noble ideas sprung from a great deal of sorrow. Through a short Coda of just 16 bars this sonata-like segment ends under the auspices of joy and bliss.
Part III – Scherzo, Allegro – is a very dynamic segment irrigated by life. For the first time in the structure of the symphony, a new movement appears, different from the minuet in expression and at the same time allowing the composer to fully express his vision and his feelings.
Part IV – Allegro molto – is of great depth, musical and harmonic complexity. Prod’Homme was quoting a critic who saw this segment of the symphony as “a dragon ran through by a spear, not wanting to die and drained of blood wagging his tail around him.”
Read more about all the other Beethoven symphonies
- Symphony No. 1, in C major, op. 21 (1799-1800)
- Symphony No. 3, in E flat major, op.55, also known as "Eroica", (1804)
- Symphony No. 4, in B flat major, op. 60, (1806)
- Symphony No. 5, in C minor, op. 67 (1807)
- Symphony No. 6, in F major, op. 68, also known as "Pastoral" (1808)
- Symphony No. 7, in La major, op. 92, also known as "The Apotheosis of Dance", (1812)
- Symphony No. 8, in F major, op.93 also known as "The Little Symphony" (1812)
- Symphony No. 9, with a choir and soloists, in D minor, op.125 (1817-1825)
Read more about Beethoven's music
- The piano sonatas - Analysis of the sonata form and the most important Beethoven Piano Sonatas.
- Trios - General discussion regarding Beethoven's trios for various instruments and ensembles.
- Sonatas for Cello and Piano - Discussion about Beethoven's five cello and piano sonatas.
- Sonatas for Violin and Piano - Overview of Beethoven's ten sonatas for violin and piano.
- String Quartets - Brief analysis of Beethoven's seventeen string quartets.
- The Opera "Fidelio" - The background, subject and influences of Beethoven's only opera.
- The Concertos - Beethoven's five piano concertos, his violin concerto and triple concerto analyzed.
- The Overtures - Brief overview of some of the most important Beethoven overtures.