Segments in this Video

"Fifth Symphony in C minor" Introduction (02:14)


Beethoven's work continues to be glorified today, but musicologist Wulf Konold explains that it had a polarizing effect during his time.

"Fifth Symphony" Premier (01:49)

Beethoven conducted his work in Vienna in 1808. Despite audience complaints of a long program, it became popular.

"Fate" Symphony (01:18)

Learn how the early 19th century literary struggle between fate and self-determination was interpreted in Beethoven's work—beginning with the first motif.

Allegro Con Brio Movement (02:19)

Konold discusses Beethoven’s unconventional opening four-note motto that repeated throughout the first part of the "Fifth Symphony."

Recapitulation (01:51)

After a development, the first movement returns to the main motto. A sudden adagio phrase represents Beethoven's resistance against fate.

Beethoven's Biography (02:41)

Born in Bonn in 1776, Ludwig was a child prodigy. He established his career in Vienna in 1801, but soon began losing his hearing—affecting his outlook on life and creativity.

Andante Movement (02:16)

Konold introduces the theme's double structure and variations. Tone color changes and a C major section help transition the symphony.

Individualist Composer (02:04)

Beethoven's variation skills are present in the Andante. Konold discusses how his deafness and perfectionism contributed to radical musical ideas.

Political Expression (01:35)

Beethoven was inspired by French Revolution ideals of freedom and equality. Learn how he used compositions to make statements about his beliefs.

Allegro Scherzo Movement (03:28)

Konold identifies two motifs in Beethoven's third section. Learn how he combined the third and fourth movements—unusual at the time.

Allegro Movement (02:10)

Learn how Beethoven's transition to C major in the "Fifth Symphony" finale references the French Revolution.

Humanist "Fifth Symphony" (02:22)

Before recapitulation, Beethoven repeats the Scherzo fanfare into the final movement. Konold discusses his romantic pathos and legacy.

Credits: Discovering Masterpieces of Classical Music: Beethoven (Documentary) (00:38)

Credits: Discovering Masterpieces of Classical Music: Beethoven (Documentary)

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Discovering Masterpieces of Classical Music: Beethoven (Documentary)

Part of the Series : Discovering Masterpieces of Classical Music: Beethoven
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



From the very start, the four-note “fate” motif of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony casts a spell on listeners. Suffering from hearing loss during its composition, Beethoven's despair and creative elation during his journey inward are reflected in this masterpiece. Beethoven expert Wulf Konold illustrates its variations on piano and explains other features of the work, including references to French Revolution ideals and tensions between fate and self determination. Claudio Abbado conducts the Berlin Philharmonic. Parts in German without subtitles. Part of the Discovering Masterpieces of Classical Music series.

Length: 28 minutes

Item#: BVL59064

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.

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