IV. ALLEGRO MA NON TROPPO
from Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Op. 60
by Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was born in 1770 in Bonn, Germany and died in 1827 in Vienna, Austria. At that time, today’s Germany was part of the Holy Roman Empire.
Beethoven went through a period of deep despair when he realised that there was no cure for the condition causing his progressive hearing loss. A year later, as he was emerging from this terrible time, he wrote Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major, Op. 55, known as “Eroica”. His third symphony was a large-scale work and nothing like the shorter Classical symphonies being performed at that time. Beethoven believed Symphony No. 3 would launch his career to new heights and Breitkopf & Härtel, one of the world’s leading publishing houses, would accept his work for publication. This didn’t happen, leaving Beethoven disappointed and frustrated.
Beethoven forged ahead and quickly wrote the more traditional, light-hearted Symphony No. 4 in B Flat Major, Op. 60, during the summer and autumn of 1806. After the public premiere of Symphony No. 4 in 1808, Beethoven approached Breitkopf & Härtel and offered them his fourth symphony for publication. Once again, Beethoven was turned down. Eventually, things changed for the better and Breitkopf & Härtel published Beethoven’s fifth symphony in 1809.
The fourth and final movement of Symphony No. 4, Allegro ma non troppo, is breathtaking. This movement features very fast bowed notes, semiquavers, played by the strings in perpetual motion.
Step 1. Watch the video to learn about Tuned Percussion
Step 2. Listen to the TSO recording of Allegro ma non troppo
Step 3. Answer 10 questions
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