Ludwig van Beethoven; 1770-1827

Sarasota Orchestra: Discover Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony

Symphonic Conductor

Guest conductor Marcelo Lehninger will lead the Sarasota Orchestra in the classical performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony Saturday, September 28th and Sunday the 29th at the Sarasota Opera House. Lehninger is the Music Director of the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra. The Brazilian-born conductor debuted with the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and has collaborated with the Florida Orchestra. Lehninger is an alumnus of the Conductors Institute at Bard College in New York and a former associate conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  As Music Director of the New West Symphony Orchestra in Los Angeles, Lehninger received the 2014 Helen M. Thompson Award for an emerging music director by the League of American Orchestras.

Guest Conductor Marcelo Lehninger

Guest Conductor Marcelo Lehninger

Lehninger has performed Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony with several orchestras, including the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Skaneateles Festival Orchestra in New York. Lehninger’s performance opens the season for the Sarasota Orchestra. The Sarasota Orchestra’s new concert series “Discover Beethoven” celebrates the 250th anniversary of the birth of that singular composer.


Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in C minor

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is one of the essential classical pieces to be produced during the early 19th century. Beethoven composed this symphony between 1804 and 1807, but recent research discovered themes of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in his sketchbooks from 1801 and 1802. The composition presents quality rhythmic energy while displaying dramatic contrast in instrumentation. The symphony’s impact is powerful and leaves listeners to dictate their emotional reactions to the comprised work since there is no title description for the movements. Ironically, Beethoven’s hearing began to deteriorate when comprising his Fifth Symphony, leading researchers to assume the intensity of the score.  

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is in four movements in C minor. The first and second movements of the symphony end before transitioning into the next movement. This was commonplace for symphonies to pause prior to beginning the next movement during this time. The third and fourth movements of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony did not follow this traditional flow. The third movement directly transitions into the fourth movement and is one of the greatest musical transitions to be composed.  

Influential Composer

Ludwig van Beethoven is an immortal of Classical Music. He is the omnipresent figure in the minds of the true aficionado and the casual listener. Beethoven reached the zenith of his musical talent during his late thirties, which is around the same time he wrote his Fifth Symphony. The work was first performed on December 22, 1808, at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. The work was so widely distributed in the following decades that it formed part of the first program for the New York Philharmonic Society in 1842. Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony retains much of that influence even today. Many orchestras around the country are holding commemorative concert series in 2020 to honor the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

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