Beethoven composed Symphony No. 5 between 1804 and 1808, working on it primarily after 1807. He paused it to complete Symphony No. 4, and finished it while working on Symphony No. 6. It lasts approximately 35 minutes and is constructed in a typical four-movement structure.
Often referred as the “Fate Symphony”, Symphony No. 5 premiered in a marathon four-hour all-Beethoven concert that included the premiere of the Sixth Symphony, three movements of the Mass in C, the Fourth Piano Concerto, and the Choral Fantasy. Oh, to have official merch from that event!
Beethoven’s 5th”, a direct to video family movie featuring dog actor J.S. Barque as the title character, Beethoven (So meta… and reminiscent of the Colorado Symphony’s Director of Barketing, Wolfgang).
The symphony is referenced in numerous pop culture sources, but possibly none so completely random as “
rd movement of Symphony No. 5, Beethoven quoted the opening nine notes of the final movement of Mozart’s 40th Symphony. Whew! That’s a lot of words for “Beethoven sampled some Mozart in Symphony No. 5” (to really nerd out with us, refer back to Week 6 of Virtual Music Hour where these two examples are played by bassist Susan Cahill and Assistant Concertmaster Yi Zhao.)
Beethoven was an admirer of Mozart. In the opening of the 3
Beethoven’s score calls for 2 flutes and piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons and contrabassoon, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones and bass trombone, timpani, and the usual string section of violins, violas, cellos, and basses.