Beethoven composed Symphony No. 2 while coming to terms with his incurable deafness. But what comes through is a spark and energy from an artist who knew that he had everything to give, and nothing else to lose. Refined, Symphony No. 4 is nothing short of impressive thanks to its exceptional inspiration and mastery.
Da-da-da-dum: these are the four notes that symbolize Beethoven's symphonic style. Symphony No. 5 takes the listener on a symphonic roller coaster ride. In Symphony No. 6, also known as the "Pastoral," the listener joins Beethoven on one of his famous walks to discover streams, village festivals, storms and shepherds' songs.
Imposing and majestic, Symphony No. 7 has thunderbolts, dark passages, folk melodies and rays of light. While it can be tempting to describe Symphony No. 8 as lightweight, its harmonic friction, lack of a slow movement and hefty last movement make it more of an experimental work.
Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 is firmly rooted in the classical tradition, but features contrasts and a hint of insolence that forecasts what's to come. Two proud and brave chords break the silence and set the tone for Beethoven's great Symphony No. 3, "Eroica," at once cathartic and revolutionary.