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Home>Beethoven Music>Beethoven Symphonies>Symphony No.7

Symphony No. 7

Symphony No. 7 in A major op. 92, named "The Apotheosis of Dance" by Wagner, was begun in 1809 and was finalized in the summer of 1812. it is a composition reflecting Beethoven’s unparalleled wisdom. This is the moment when we identify a new stage in the composer’s creation, where classical elements intertwine with romantic ones, thus generating a new expression far more intimate and more complex.

Part I – Vivace – starts with a slow introduction – Poco sostenuto – solemn and majestic in character. Then, on the rhythmical background we hear the motif of Part I. This first part brings many new elements, hard to decipher, because perfection expressed through sounds cannot be translated into words.

Part II – Allegretto – is perhaps the most expressive of the secondary parts of his symphonies. While in the first part the A major sonorities conferred greatness and sumptuousness, the theme in Part II, in A minor, brings a whole new atmosphere, thus emphasizing the contrast between the two.

Excerpt from Symphony No. VII, Part II

Part III – Presto meno assai – represents a splendid triumph in rendering the scherzo form. As a whole, it conveys a genuine bucolic scene with pictural meanings and associations. In Trio, the composer uses a theme from an Austrian folkloric song, the theme of which had been jotted down while Beethoven was in Teplitz.

Excerpt from Symphony No. VII, Part III

Part IV – Allegro con brio – emanates an immense joy from beginning to the end. Practically, this is the point where dance begins. Everything is captured by movement like a popular folkloric song. The second theme is in fact a typical tune from a Hungarian dance. The great Russian composer P.I. Ceaikovski thought that this segment captures "a whole series of images, full of unrestrained joy, full of bliss and pleasure of life.". Listening to this symphony’s grand finale one can hardly decide what to think more astonishing: Beethoven’s amazing creative fantasy, the impeccable form, the amazing talent in using all the musical resources in developing the themes or his compact, luscious, sumptuous instrumentation.

From 1821, Symphony No.2 by Beethoven was always performed in Paris with a substitution, i.e. the second part of the symphony was replaced with the second part of Symphony No. 7. The first time it was performed in this manner was in 1813 with astounding success ever since.

Read more about all the other Beethoven symphonies

 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.
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1. Beethoven: The Universal Composer by Edmund Morris;

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5. Beethoven as I Knew Him by Anton Felix Schindler;

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