Sakura Salon – Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony 11/17/13

Lynn's Wagon

udwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 may be somewhat less omnipresent in popular culture than the Fifth or the Ninth, but it is a masterpiece nonetheless. Beethoven is known for his obsessive treatment of rhythm, and this work in particular overflows with rhythmic drive. Written in 1811, it premiered as part of a charity concert in 1813.

Later writers characterized the Seventh Symphony in various ways, but it is striking how many of the descriptions touch on its frenzy, approaching a bacchanal at times, and on its elements of dance. Richard Wagner’s poetic account is well known: “All tumult, all yearning and storming of the heart, become here the blissful insolence of joy, which carries us away with bacchanalian power through the roomy space of nature, through all the streams and seas of life, shouting in glad self-consciousness as we sound throughout the universe the daring strains of this human…

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