Monday, 1 December 2008

207. Ludwig van Beethoven - Symphony no. 8 (1812)


Title: The Nine Symphonies
Performers: Staatskapelle Berlin
Director: Daniel Barenboim
Year: 1999
Length: 26 minutes


The 8th symphony is a bit of a lull for Beethoven between the exuberance of the seventh and the sheer greatness of the ninth. Still there are things to like here, the aggressiveness of the first movement, the jokey second movement and just the general variety of styles.

The last Beethoven symphonies have all come in quick succession, now we will have to wait a bit for the next one, but Beethoven was really happy with this composition. I don't rally understand why he would cherish this eighth symphony over his previous ones, but hey, I'm not Beethoven.

So another great symphony by the man, but not as great as the last five, in my humble opinion. Maybe as great as the fourth... well they are still all amazingly good, they are symphonies by Beethoven, after all.

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Critics immediately noted that the Eighth did not reach the heights of its predecessor, launching a long tradition of complaining that the Eighth Symphony is not something different (more heroic, more emotive) from what it is. However, many listeners seem to be able to enjoy the symphony anyway, and it appears frequently today on concert programs as well as on recordings. When asked by his pupil Carl Czerny why the Eighth was less popular than the Seventh, Beethoven is said to have replied "because the Eighth is so much better."

Again Karajan doesn't disappoint:

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