BEETHOVEN: His Symphony No 1, introduced by Sir Roger Norrington

When Beethoven wrote his Symphony No 1, he was young and at the height of his powers as both a pianist and a composer of chamber music, but he had also lived more than half his life. This symphony couldn’t have been written by Mozart, that’s for sure, but what about Haydn? I guess you’d always think another hand was at work. Harmonically, it’s a bit more stable than Haydn, a bit more Romantic, and in some ways more mischievous even, but it’s still a lot ‘safer’ than what Mahler or Elgar did in their first symphonies. Beethoven uses a standard, late-Haydn orchestra, full-sized, with clarinets but nothing radical or distinctive, such as contrabassoons, piccolos or trombones. Maybe he thought he’d carry on writing in this style, until deafness made him rethink his future.

Please click HERE to continue

Leave a Reply