Beethoven's 7th Symphony, written while he was suffering numerous health ailments, is full of joyful energy and vigorous rhythm.
Played by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Giordano Bellincampi in Auckland Town Hall, 12 July 2018.
Such an established symphony needs little introduction.
The second movement is the most famous – so much so that Beethoven sometimes substituted it for the slow movements of some of his other symphonies.
It’s probably the most well-known fact in all of classical music that Beethoven started to go deaf. But he was also troubled by a whole host of other ailments, so in 1811 he was sent off on doctor’s orders to the Bohemian spa town of Teplitz, famous for its allegedly curative waters. Refreshed by his stay there, on his return to Vienna, he began work on the Seventh Symphony.
One of the striking developments that he made here was a very long introduction, longer indeed than anything that Haydn or Mozart, or even Beethoven himself, had done before.
Once it gets under way, the symphony is full of joyful energy and vigorous rhythm, to the extent that Wagner famously called it “the apotheosis of the dance”.
Recorded by RNZ Concert in Auckland Town Hall, 12 July 2018
Producer: Tim Dodd
Engineer: Adrian Hollay