”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 second concert, featuring Beethoven's Third and Fourth!
To experience a concert of Beethoven’s Third and Fourth Symphonies is to enter into his moment of pivotal creative transition. The long and technically difficult Third Symphony—written in 1803, premiered in April 1805, and published in 1806 under the title “Sinfonia Eroica … composed to celebrate the memory of a great man”—greatly challenged both performers and audiences, presenting a music with a purpose surpassing mere entertainment. It heralded the beginning of the second period of Beethoven’s career and has become one of his most analyzed and beloved works. Meanwhile, the Fourth Symphony—composed in 1806, premiered in March 1807, and published in 1808—aligns stylistically with his first two symphonies. Despite its beauty and power, the work has remained the least performed of Beethoven’s nine symphonies, probably because it fails to connect the dots of the Third and Fifth Symphonies' more innovative trajectories. As one 19th century critic put it: "There are no words to describe the deep, powerful spirit of this work from his earlier and most beautiful period."
Photo: © Nohely Olivero Gerardo Gomez Fundamusical