Symphony No. 7 (Beethoven)

Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A major op 92 was built from 1811 to 1812. The autograph score is dated 13 May 1812., The Bohemian spa town of Count von Fries.


When Beethoven began composing the 7th Symphony, Napoleon planned his campaign against Russia. After the 3rd Symphony - and possibly the Fifth - seems to be the 7th Symphony, a further musical exploration of Beethoven with Napoleon and his policies to be, this time in the context of European wars of liberation from the years of Napoleonic occupation. " The date of the score started writing, Symphony in 1812, the 13th of May ' was historic in every respect. A week later, Napoleon ordered the princes of Germany gathered in Dresden to attend his attack on Russia. "

Beethoven's life, not least due to the time of his ever-increasing, caused by otosclerosis deafness, which could not be mitigated by a constructed of metronome inventor Johann Nepomuk Mälzel " Hörmaschine ". You finally made in 1819 the use of " conversation books " necessary, with the help of Beethoven's interlocutor communicated in writing with the composers.

Set names


Busy are each two flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, trumpets, horns, timpani and strings. The Running time is about 35-42 minutes, with a shortening of the duration is mostly due to non-executed repetitions of exposure in the 1st and 4th movement.

Orchestra 2, 2, 2, 2 - 2, 2, 0, 0, timp, Str

About the Music

First Set

In the first 62 bars of the first movement is making more and more out of the whole work determining rhythm, until it finally manifests in the first four bars of the Vivace. This rhythm prompted Richard Wagner to describe the symphony as " apotheosis of the dance "; Hector Berlioz again compared the first set with a " ronde de paysans " ( German: " barn dance "). The main subject in the first sentence has similarities with the second theme of the 4th movement of Symphony in D major KV 97, which may have been composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The musicologist Neal Zaslaw wrote about this similarity:

" Spooky is the anticipation of a passage in the first movement of Beethoven's 7th Symphony, not only because of the subject but also because of its immediate repetition also in minor. Beethoven can this unpublished work not have known. We must either believe in an amazing coincidence, or assume that they were both inspired by a work from an unknown third party. "

Second sentence

Like the first as well as the second set is determined primarily by the rhythm. Wolfgang Osthoff sets the solemn character of this sentence in relation to the litany formula " Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis " and compares it with a procession. Beethoven breaks in this set with the tradition by letting him start and end with a fourth - sixth chord, which traditionally only allowed on lead in solo concert for the cadence.

Five years before the composition of the 7th Symphony Beethoven had originally planned, the theme of the second movement of the slow movement in his String Quartet No. 9 in C major op to use 59.3. Karl Nef, according to the central part of the sentence with a melody of the clarinet and bassoon contains a motivic bond to the aria, " you 'll pay in better worlds" from Beethoven's opera " Fidelio".

Third set

The third movement begins with the modified theme of the introduction and forms with its lively character a contrast to the Allegretto. The thematic work consists of no vote to end repetitions. The five parts ( ABABA ) existing Scherzo ( such five- division is also found in Beethoven's Fourth Symphony as well as several other works of Beethoven's middle period) ends relatively abruptly with five orchestral beats, which by Robert Schumann with the words "You can see the composer tidy the spring was described to throw away ".

Fourth proposition

The turbulent character of the fourth movement caused allegedly by Carl Maria von Weber to explain Beethoven " ripe for the madhouse " (according to other sources, it was the first set ); Clara Schumann's father, Friedrich Wieck speculated that " this symphony only in the unfortunate - might be composed in drunken state, namely the first and the last sentence ." It is uncertain whether Beethoven was inspired by the Irish folk song Nora Creina, from Czardas rhythms or by the written by François Joseph Gossec Triumphmarsch Le Triomphe de la République. In his book From Beethoven to Mahler writes musicologist Martin Geck that fails to " the preaching of the ethos " of the final movements of Beethoven's third, fifth, sixth and ninth symphony in the finale of Symphony No. 7: "With its main theme [ ... ] it turns more to the senses than to the spirit, calls are more likely to self- proofing as to collect on, rather than focused on physical expression to inner sublimation " Again, Harry Goldschmidt operates the political semantics of this " frenzied final shape. " out: " A tear their final movement of Beethoven no longer composed. In huge head figures that lie crosswise over the whole orchestra, the enemies will literally last, driven in pairs '. One can understand the young Bettina von Arnim, when she wrote to the poet of Egmont, while listening to this music they have imagined to have to pull forward the peoples with flying colors '. [ ... ] To appear Beethoven's A major Symphony [ ... ] than its big appeal to the national-liberation. "


The symphony was first performed one and a half months after the " Battle of Leipzig " on December 8, 1813 along with Wellington's Victory or the Battle of Vittoria in the large ball room of the University of Vienna as a benefit concert for the anti-Napoleonic fighters under Beethoven's baton and was a very great success. In the well-equipped after Beethoven Orchestra instructions were well-known musicians such as Romberg, Spohr, Hummel, Meyerbeer, Salieri and probably Mauro Giuliani, who played cello. In this first show and the second on 12 December of the same year, the second sentence of the audience was as requested capo. From Beethoven Adlatus Schindler tells us: " The jubilation outbreaks during the A major Symphony and the battle of Vittoria ' [ ... ] went above and beyond what I had experienced up to that point in the concert hall. " In Beethoven's letter of thanks to the participants of the motifs are open pronounced: "We all met nothing but the pure feeling of patriotism and of joyful sacrifice of our forces for those who have sacrificed so much to us. "

The general musical newspaper wrote about the 7th Symphony:

" Above all, the new first-mentioned Symphony earned those great applause and the exceptionally good reception they received. You must have the latest work of genius B. 's self, and probably also hear so well executed as it was performed here quite appreciate its beauties and to enjoy quite complete. Ref stops the symphony, after zweymaligem Listen, [ ... ] for the most melodious, and most pleasing of all fasslichste B.schen symphonies. [ ... ] The Andante [ sic] (A minor) had to be repeated each time and delighted connoisseurs and non- connoisseurs. "

Use in films ( selection)

In particular, the second sentence of the 7th Symphony has often been used as a film music:

  • Beethoven Lives Upstairs
  • Irreversible ( movie )
  • Knowing - The future now ends
  • The Fall ( film )
  • The King's Speech
  • Zardoz
  • The Man from Earth
  • Defiance - For my brothers who never gave up
  • A better life
  • Love Exposure