”Be embraced” by Beethoven’s nine symphonies in this concert series featuring Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (SBSOV) at Barcelona's Palau de la Musica. Enjoy here the first concert, featuring Beethoven's First and Second!
Composed around turn of the 19th century and premiered in Vienna in April 1800 and 1803, Beethoven’s First and Second Symphonies are marked by the music of Franz Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the last revolutionaries of the symphonic genre. Nonetheless, these symphonies–along with his Opus 18 string quartets–reveal a now-mature Beethoven at the height of his Classical powers, demonstrating his true compositional genius to his Viennese audiences for the first time. All the more astonishing is that these masterpieces were composed during the looming personal crisis of Beethoven’s progressive hearing loss, a crisis that came to a head in the summer of 1802 as he was finishing the Second Symphony. As Beethoven explained in his “Heiligenstadt Testament”, an unsent letter addressed to his brothers:
I would have ended my life. Only my art held me back. It seemed to me impossible to leave the world until I had produced all that I felt was within me.
How lucky we are that he took that realization to heart!
Photo: © Nohely Olivero Gerardo Gomez Fundamusical