Its premiere in 1813, at a charity concert for soldiers wounded in the Battle of Hanau during the Napoleonic Wars, was among the most applauded concerts of Beethoven’s life — a Viennese newspaper account said, “The symphony brought forth applause which rose to the point of ecstasy.” It is still loved today for its energy and beauty, and its lilting dance rhythms are some of Beethoven’s most delightful moments.
[Popular culture note: the second movement of this symphony brings magic to the soundtrack of the movie The King’s Speech, and was used in an episode of Seinfeld.]
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 was first performed by The Cleveland Orchestra 100 years ago, on November 2, 1919, under the baton of Nikolai Sokoloff.
At a Glance
MESSIAEN - Les Offrandes oubliées [The Forgotten Offerings]
PROKOFIEV - Violin Concerto No. 2
BEETHOVEN - Symphony No. 7
PROGRAM UPDATE: Jaap van Zweden, who was to have conducted this weekend’s concerts, has had to cancel his appearances due to a family medical matter. Klaus Mäkelä is stepping in to conduct. The program remains the same, except for a change in the opening piece to the Messiaen work listed above. For more information and details, please see printed program book insert.