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The Fifth Symphony

You might be thinking – Whose fifth symphony?  The most popular was composed by Beethoven and it has become one of the most popular and easily recognized symphonies. For Beethoven, it all began when his Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67 or just simply the Fifth Symphony had its world premiere on December 22, 1808.

Even though that day at a theater in Vienna, Austria Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58 and the Symphony No. 6 F major, Op, 68 known as the Pastoral Symphony by Beethoven were also performed it was his Fifth Symphony that came shining through. Now when those first notes get played everyone already recognizes this symphony.

During WW II in Britain, those ever-popular beginning notes were used to open BBC broadcasts because it mimicked the Morse-code “V” for Victory. In modern times the symphony even entered the disco era when Walter Murphy used the beginning notes of the Fifth Symphony in his number one pop hit “A Fifth of Beethoven”. The first notes have also been heard in many different movies and also used in commercials. I think that Beethoven is truly amazed at the popularity his Fifth Symphony has gained.


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