Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92


5.0
classic

Review

by Andrew W. Gold CONTRIBUTOR (108 Reviews)
April 21st, 2016 | 37 replies


Release Date: 1813 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “Beethoven himself spoke of it fondly as ‘one of my best works’. Who are we to dispute his judgment?”

I couldn’t tell you when I first heard II. Allegretto of Beethoven’s 7th symphony, but I remember when it became one of my favorite pieces of music like it was yesterday. Music appreciation class, sophomore year in college; we were watching Immortal Beloved and about two-thirds into the movie there’s a montage of a bunch of stuff going down – a funeral procession, some guy shooting off his ear – and II. Allegretto began welling up in the background and it just hit me. I was floored. It truly is the aural equivalent to a group of pallbearers carrying a coffin through a dreary, rainy cemetery. The progressions, the preciseness, and the way it swells and builds, teetering on the edge of beauty and sorrow while avoiding pigeonholing into one or the other – a hauntingly gorgeous composition and a timeless piece of music if ever there was one. I’ll never forget that sensation for as long as I live. Needless to say when I finally heard ‘Symphony No. 7’ in full, I was not disappointed.

The other three movements are generally active and playful, I. Poco sostenuto – Vivace opening the symphony up with vigor and fortitude; rigorous string work and airtight composition make it a strong opening salvo. III. Presto – Assai meno presto’s exposition is electric, with Beethoven treating dynamics between forte and piano as if they’re an on-off switch, and finally the spontaneous IV. Allegro con brio proves to be an exercise in call-and-response between horns, winds and strings; a compelling close to the grandiose symphony.

In all its bombast, the most powerful movement of ‘Symphony No. 7’ is the subtle II. Allegretto, which was immediately demanded an encore at the symphony’s 1813 premiere. The entirety of the work is a masterpiece, though, like most of Beethoven’s symphonies. To quote music author Antony Hopkins, “Beethoven himself spoke of it fondly as ‘one of my best works’. Who are we to dispute his judgment?”


Notable Performances:
Herbert von Karajan & the Berliner Philharmoniker
Leonard Bernstein & the Wiener Philharmoniker




Recent reviews by this author
Periphery Periphery III: Select DifficultyArchitects All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us
Bleeding Skies You Can (Not) DieProtest the Hero Pacific Myth
Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeWeezer The Red Album (Deluxe Edition)
user ratings (89)
Chart.
4.4
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 21st 2016


23956 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i call this one Hyperbole City. it's been a while



full performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq9Gu5N42HQ

elcrawfodor
April 21st 2016


1230 Comments


Great review, I really should get into classical music at some point. I pretty much only go for 1812 Overture :/

Digging: Japanese Breakfast - Psychopomp

Totengott
April 21st 2016


3613 Comments


I have to listen to this, nice review. I've been digging a lot of classical lately.

Valkyrion
April 21st 2016


1160 Comments


he also said his 8th was a lot better than his 7th (((he was right)))

Digging: Comus - First Utterance

Atari
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2016


21753 Comments


good stuff Ins, mind pos

I'm going to have to play closer attention to the 2nd movement the next time I hear this. His 6th symphony is one of my favorites by him. Also, if you haven't heard his 4th and 5th piano concertos you should check them out, they're both excellent.

Digging: Oak Pantheon - In Pieces

Asdfp277
April 21st 2016


10541 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet, when does this come out

Asdfp277
April 21st 2016


10541 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nvm found a leak

Sevengill
April 21st 2016


3815 Comments


make sure it's the latest manuscript. there are a couple different ones floating around.

Digging: Eismalsott - Weiblendung

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 21st 2016


23956 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@Valkyrion yea he did, not sure i agree that it's better than this but his 8th is very underrated



@atari it's pretty iconic, im sure you'll recognize it. most people immediately associate beethoven with either the opening of the 5th or the second movement of this (and ode to joy of course)

Sevengill
April 21st 2016


3815 Comments


don't forget Moonlight Sonata

Asdfp277
April 21st 2016


10541 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"not sure i agree that it's better than this but his 8th is very underrated"



literally the dude's entire discography is overrated

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 21st 2016


23956 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yea moonlight too



@asdfp well i disagree ofc but of all his symphonies i think 8 gets overlooked the most

Sevengill
April 21st 2016


3815 Comments


it's more that he and Mozart are disproportionately famous compared to their contemporaries, I think. like, Beethoven was a genius, but so was Schubert and how many people can name even one of his major works (I can't off the top of my head and I'm a music major)?

Asdfp277
April 21st 2016


10541 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

just there's better music out there

Sevengill
April 21st 2016


3815 Comments


yes, there is always better music out there.

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 21st 2016


23956 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

let's be real though, if any artist has the right to be "overrated", it's beethoven

Asdfp277
April 21st 2016


10541 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

why tho, like actually i'm ok with that but

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 21st 2016


23956 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

cause its fuckin beethoven man

im not saying he's the greatest ever (though imo he is) but between symphonies 5, 7 and 9 it's pretty easy to see why he became such an icon in music

Asdfp277
April 21st 2016


10541 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not really like

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 21st 2016


23956 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

different strokes i guess



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2016 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy