"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 fourth concert, featuring Beethoven's Seventh and Eighth!
When Beethoven was composing his Seventh and Eighth Symphonies, a need for celebration was in the air. After years of war and Napoleon’s 1805 and 1809 occupations of Vienna, in 1812 victory was finally close at hand! In 1813 and 1814, Beethoven delivered two symphonies marked by this jubilant atmosphere. On December 8, 1813, his Symphony No. 7 in A Major was premiered in an extraordinarily successful benefit concert given in honor of soldiers wounded in the battle of Hanau, alongside the premiere of Wellington’s Victory, his “Battle Symphony.” Then in a concert on February 27, 1814, these same two works (by that time extremely popular) accompanied the premiere of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 in F Major.
While the Seventh Symphony quickly overshadowed the Eighth in popularity and number of performances (the Allegretto of the Seventh came to be performed separately and was perhaps Beethoven’s most popular orchestral composition) both works reveal the composer in the third and most masterful period of his career. They offer up a music of pure Beethovenian ambition, beauty, humor, and relentless energy that thrills and fascinates audiences to this day.
Photo: © Gerardo Gomez