BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5

Beethoven Statue


Ludwig van Beethoven (Dec 1770 - Mar 1827)

Composed In

1804 to 1808


35 minutes


Piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani and strings


The Symphony No.5, widely recognised by its four-note opening motif, is arguably Ludwig van Beethoven’s best-known composition to date. Quoted by the composer himself about the opening motif of the piece as “the sound of fate knocking on the door”, Beethoven started composing this symphony in 1803, shortly after finishing his Symphony No.3, Eroica.


About the Composition

1 Allegro Con Brio

In this movement, it introduces and reinforces the main theme through various characters, sometimes foreboding, sometimes triumphant, passing through different sections of the orchestra.

2 Andante Con Moto

This is a more simple and lyrical movement, consisting of two alternating themes in variations. Even so, the fury of the first movement can still be felt through the hammering of the second theme by the trumpets and the drums.

3 Allegro

This movement opens gently, with the “fate” theme that started off the symphony, expanding and growing before shifting to a bold and busy climax, and calming down afterward before plunging into the fourth and final movement.

4 Allegro

It features the “fate rhythm” in a triumphant march, high in energy, and increasing in tempo and volume before closing the symphony in a jubilant major key.


Fun Facts about the Composer

  • Hated giving piano lessons, only making exceptions for truly talented students, or young attractive women regardless of talent.
  • His father was an alcoholic, and would often beat and abuse him for playing wrong notes.
  • Suffered from illnesses throughout his life, and most notably, deafness.
  • After losing his hearing, he still had his perfect pitch and continued composing until his death.
  • Had a notoriously bad temper, often stopping his performances if he noticed anyone in the audience talking.

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