Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 represents a spectacular milestone in the history of symphonic form, after which it would be impossible to turn backwards. The composer once and for all rejects the static, architectural organization inherent of the classical symphony (where entirely independent movements are organized and harmonized with one another), and chooses instead to develop a purely dynamic conception of his work.
These movements from minor to major, from shadow to light, from conflict to victory (metaphorically) are the most obvious traits of such a progression. But on a deeper level, the real challenge here is the emergence of a new form of musical time.
In the classical period, music (as many other forms of expression) consisted in the submission of a material to an order of succession, but whose power of organization existed outside of time, or was above it: the logical discursive order, rhetoric being the absolute model.
With Beethoven, a work’s musical time is structured as an interdependent and specific event, based on an internal logic as a vital development: Beethoven goes from an organization to an organism, from metric to dynamic.
The Paris Opera Orchestra
A coproduction Opéra national de Paris - Telmondis
In association with ARTE France and M_MEDIA /ClassicAll TV
With the support of Pierre Bergé, patron of the symphonic concerts of the Paris Opera Orchestra and of the Orange Foundation, patron of the audiovisual broadcasts of the Paris Opera
With the support of the Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée
Director: Vincent Massip
© Opéra national de Paris - Telmondis - 2014
Picture: © Jean-François Leclercq / OnP
Ludwig van Beethoven