One of the best known and most beloved in music literature, Beethoven's Fifth was written between 1804 and 1807. The first performance took place on 22 December 1808 in Vienna with Beethoven conducting. One of the most famous phrases in symphonic music opens the work and dominates the first movement, which then gives way to a set of variations on one long, extended theme in the second movement. The four-note introduction reemerges in the third movement, a Scherzo, with the double bass taking on a major role. The fourth movement is a magnificent explosion of music, almost a triumphant march. This recording is part of Bernstein's complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies recorded with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra live in Vienna. The series won the Ace Award, the U.S. Cable TV Association's top award for outstanding quality and entertainment value. Bernstein's impassioned renderings of Beethoven move audiences in a unique way. "Beethoven has always meant universality to me, ever since my early adolescence, when I first heard that unforgettable cry of 'Brüder!'. From that moment on, every... symphony came to mean heart-to-heart communication, travelling satellite-fashion via the cosmos itself. I offer [this cycle] to all music-loving ears as a testament of faith and of my most profound reactions to this greatest of all composers." (Leonard Bernstein, 1980)


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Associated Collections

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Bernstein 100

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Beethoven 9: Bernstein

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