Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92: II. Allegretto (8:12)

Cover of Immortal Beethoven

From Immortal Beethoven and 186 other releases

Ludwig van Beethoven began to work on his Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92, in 1811, while he was staying in the Bohemian spa town of Teplice in the hope of improving his health. It was completed in 1812, and was dedicated to Count Moritz von Fries.

The work was premiered in Vienna on December 8, 1813 at a charity concert for soldiers wounded in the Battle of Hanau, with Beethoven himself conducting and double featured with the patriotic Wellington’s Victory symphony. The orchestra was led by Beethoven’s friend, Ignaz Schuppanzigh, and included some of the finest musicians of the day: violinist Louis Spohr, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Antonio Salieri, Anton Romberg, and the Italian double bass virtuoso, Domenico Dragonetti, whom Beethoven himself described as playing “with great fire and expressive power”. It is also said that the Italian guitar virtuoso Mauro Giuliani played cello at the premiere. The piece was very well received, and the second movement, the allegretto, had to be encored immediately. Spohr made particular mention of Beethoven’s antics on the rostrum (“as a sforzando occurred, he tore his arms with a great vehemence asunder … at the entrance of a forte he jumped in the air”), and the concert was repeated due to its immense success.

The symphony is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in A, 2 bassoons, 2 horns in A, 2 trumpets in D, timpani, and strings.

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