Beethoven 7

“The Seventh Symphony’s premiere concert was performed to benefit the soldiers wounded a few months earlier in the battle of Hanau. It was one of Beethoven’s most successful concerts. Viennese audiences, miserable from Napoleon’s 1805 and 1809 occupations of Vienna and hopefully awaiting a victory over him, embraced the symphony’s energy and beauty. The celebratory symphony, dedicated to both Count Moritz von Fries and Russian Empress Elisabeth Aleksiev, was performed three times in 10 weeks following its premiere. The second movement of the Seventh often is performed separately from the complete symphony, and might have been one of Beethoven’s most popular compositions. In spite of the symphony’s popularity, Beethoven was not the most performed or most published composer of the time, and he competed for prestige with emerging composer Rossini.”

“After its premiere, the Seventh Symphony was repeated three times in the following 10 weeks; at one of the performances the “applause rose to the point of ecstasy,” according to a newspaper account. The Leipzig Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung reported that “the new symphony (A major) was received with so much applause, again. The reception was as animated as at the first time; the Andante [sic] (A minor), the crown of modern instrumental music, as at the first performance, had to be repeated.” The Symphony’s appeal is not hard to understand. In scope and intensity, it is fully Beethovenian, and yet it does not place quite as many demands on the listener as does the “Eroica.” The ambition of the first movement, beauty of the second, the breathlessness of the scherzo, and relentless energy of the finale did not fail to impress audiences. Beethoven himself called it “one of the happiest products of my poor talents.””

These excerpts were taken from an NPR article. For the full article click HERE