Beethoven's Fifth Symphony - Its Debut

On December 22, 1808, Beethoven starred in one of the most important concerts of his life.  It took place at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. 

The rehearsal - there was only one, despite so much new music - did not go well.  Because of his increasing deafness, Beethoven's conducting style had become unpredictably erratic.  At times, the musicians simply put down their instruments, refusing to continue.  Despite all the rehearsal difficulties, the concert came together with relatively few mistakes.

Four hours long, it featured eight of Beethoven's works, including the first public performances of the Sixth Symphony (also known as the Pastoral), the Fifth Symphony and the Fourth Piano Concerto (which Beethoven personally performed).

After this concert, Beethoven would never play the piano in public again.

Clip from “Beethoven,” a 2005 BBC television production, featuring Charles Hazlewood and starring Paul Rhys as Beethoven.

Credits

Clip from “Beethoven,” a 2005 BBC television production, featuring Charles Hazlewood and starring Paul Rhys as Beethoven. 

Online, via BBC Worldwide Channel at YouTube.  Copyright, BBC, all rights reserved.  Clip provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the program.

Director:
Ursula Macfarlane

Key Cast Members:

Paul Rhys
Ludwig van Beethoven

Jack Shepherd
Joseph Haydn

David Bamber
Prince Lichnowsky

Alice Eve
Countess Giulietta Guicciardi

Nicholas Farrell
Stephan von Breuning

Tom Goodman-Hill
Anton Schindler

Gareth David-Lloyd
Older Karl

Casper Harvey
Young Karl

Sarah Hadland
Johanna van Beethoven

Christian Coulson
Archduke Rudolph

Charles Hazlewood
Himself - Presenter

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