Fate Knocking at the Door: Beethoven's Symphony No. 5

25 Jul 2018

On Wednesday, July 25, 2018, Gil Harel presented the third lecture in his Beethoven series.

Week 3: Fate Knocking at the Door: Beethoven’s Symphony no. 5 Perhaps no musical motive is as iconic and instantly recognizable as that which begins Beethoven’s Symphony no. 5 in C minor. Contemporary accounts suggest that this music strikes us today much as it struck listeners 200 years ago. Audience members are often captivated by the sense of gloom and urgency which begins the work, and are taken along an odyssey which introduces lyrical determination (mvt. 2) before yielding to a demonic scherzo (mvt. 3) and finally melting into the triumphant fanfare of the finale. The symphony constitutes an important watershed in the development of classical music, and marks what many commentators describe as a foreshadowing of the romantic style. For Beethoven, the symphony may have symbolized something deeply personal.

Can’t make the live event? Check out the video recording at DarienLibrary.tv

About the Presenter Gil Harel (PhD, Brandeis University) is a musicologist and music theorist whose interests include styles ranging from classical repertoire to jazz and popular music, as well as opera, medieval, and renaissance music. Previously, he has served on the faculty at CUNY Baruch College, where he was awarded the prestigious “Presidential Excellence Award for Distinguished Teaching”, as well as the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China. Currently, he teaches at Naugatuck Valley Community College, where he was recently presented with the coveted “Merit Award for Exemplary Service to the College.” At NVCC, Dr. Harel conducts the college chorale, teaches music history and theory, and serves as musical director of theater productions. Outside of teaching, he enjoys staying active as a pianist and vocalist.


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