Beethoven Week: The Fifth Symphony

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Thursday 18 September 2014 at 2.15pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0600

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Andris Nelsons  conductor

Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 32′
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Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 36′
Listen on Spotify

“Thus Fate knocks at the door!” Everyone’s heard the first four notes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, but if that’s all you’ve heard, you’re in for a thrilling surprise, as Andris Nelsons’ Beethoven cycle arrives at the most famous symphony of all time. Prepare to be electrified – and to be delighted by the Fifth’s prettier, funnier little sister: the joyous Fourth Symphony.

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Review by Andrew Clements, Guardian:

Click here for full review

…     “The second concert consisted of the Fourth and Fifth, given as an afternoon matinee. Both symphonies were electrically charged affairs and, after eight weeks of Proms in the cotton-wool acoustics of the Albert Hall, returning to the immediacy and precision of sound in the crowded Symphony Hall was a delight in itself.

Nelsons’ treatment of the Fourth was startling. Like all outstanding conductors, he has the precious ability to conjure something unexpectedly brilliant out of thin air. He did it a year ago in another matinee concert with the CBSO in Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony, and Beethoven’s Fourth here was cut from the same cloth. Its slow introduction seemed pregnant with dramatic possibilities, and what followed exploited most of them, with every rhythm sprung, every chord perfectly balanced, the perpetuum mobile of the finale fabulously precise, and Nelsons’ repertoire of podium gestures becoming ever more extravagant: a star jump, arms aloft, both feet well off the ground, was a new one to me.”     …


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