The opening four notes of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 are the most iconic in all of music. There’s an apocryphal story that Beethoven called those four notes “fate knocking at the door.”
But the very first audience to hear this symphony in 1808 didn’t walk away so impressed. Beethoven’s 5th premiered on a cold, December night in Vienna’s unheated Theater an der Wien. The orchestra was under-rehearsed and on bad terms with Beethoven over a previous concert.
That night the audience heard Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, his 6th Symphony, the 4th Piano Concerto and more for the first time. Four hours of new music was apparently too much for the audience, and music critics had little to say about the musical marathon.
It wasn’t until a year and a half later when the symphony was performed again that music critic E.T.A. Hoffman wrote effusively about the 5th that the work began to take off.
Now, more than 200 years later, the symphony is at the core of the classical canon and always an audience favorite!
The Colorado Symphony is kicking off its Centennial Celebration season with this iconic symphony on September 15-17. CPR Classical will be there opening night, Friday, September 15, and we’d love for you to be there as well! Ensure your seat at Boettcher Concert Hall with a 20% off code for any of the three concerts that weekend. Enter promo code CPRBEETHOVEN here.
CPR Classical Morning host Kabin Thomas will be in the lobby before the Friday night performance and also during intermission. Stop by to say “Hello,” take a selfie with Beethoven and pick up a CPR Classical bookmark!
Hear CPR Classical by clicking “Listen Live” at the top on this website, or download the Colorado Public Radio app. Listen on your radio to CPR Classical at 88.1 FM in Denver, or on radio signals around Colorado. You can also tell your smart speaker to “Play CPR Classical."
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