Symphonies of Beethoven

Symphonies of Beethoven
Course Trailer
Beethoven and the Heroic Style, I
1: Beethoven and the Heroic Style, I

Lectures 1 through 4 introduce Beethoven the man and his musical development up to the premiere of Symphony no. 6 in 1808. We look at his early life, historical circumstances, and the musical style that influenced his development. We follow his move to Vienna, his studies with Haydn, his thoughts on Napoleon, and the premiere of the Eroica Symphony. His hearing loss is examined as the catalyst of ...

47 min
Beethoven and the Heroic Style, II
2: Beethoven and the Heroic Style, II

Lectures 1 through 4 introduce Beethoven the man and his musical development up to the premiere of Symphony no. 6 in 1808. We look at his early life, historical circumstances, and the musical style that influenced his development. We follow his move to Vienna, his studies with Haydn, his thoughts on Napoleon, and the premiere of the Eroica Symphony. His hearing loss is examined as the catalyst of ...

46 min
Beethoven and the Heroic Style, III
3: Beethoven and the Heroic Style, III

Lectures 1 through 4 introduce Beethoven the man and his musical development up to the premiere of Symphony no. 6 in 1808. We look at his early life, historical circumstances, and the musical style that influenced his development. We follow his move to Vienna, his studies with Haydn, his thoughts on Napoleon, and the premiere of the Eroica Symphony. His hearing loss is examined as the catalyst of ...

45 min
Beethoven and the Heroic Style, IV
4: Beethoven and the Heroic Style, IV

Lectures 1 through 4 introduce Beethoven the man and his musical development up to the premiere of Symphony no. 6 in 1808. We look at his early life, historical circumstances, and the musical style that influenced his development. We follow his move to Vienna, his studies with Haydn, his thoughts on Napoleon, and the premiere of the Eroica Symphony. His hearing loss is examined as the catalyst of ...

46 min
Symphony No. 1-Beethoven as Classicist-Tradition and Innovation, I
5: Symphony No. 1-Beethoven as Classicist-Tradition and Innovation, I

Lectures 5 and 6 examine the "new path" that Beethoven began with his first symphony. We see his innovations in the context of contemporary events. Symphony no. 1, Beethoven's great Classical symphony, is analyzed along with the musical style and the major musical forms of the Classical era....

47 min
Symphony No. 1-Beethoven as Classicist-Tradition and Innovation, II
6: Symphony No. 1-Beethoven as Classicist-Tradition and Innovation, II

Lectures 5 and 6 examine the "new path" that Beethoven began with his first symphony. We see his innovations in the context of contemporary events. Symphony no. 1, Beethoven's great Classical symphony, is analyzed along with the musical style and the major musical forms of the Classical era....

45 min
Symphony No. 2-Beethoven at the Edge, I
7: Symphony No. 2-Beethoven at the Edge, I

Lectures 7 and 8 analyze Symphony no. 2 of 1802. We see how this symphony heralded a heroic style that Beethoven fully realized in Symphony no. 3. Also discussed is the Heiligenstadt Testament, a letter he wrote about his personal crisis as he realized he was going deaf. We consider how Beethoven's development as a composer was affected by his fight with deafness....

46 min
Symphony No. 2-Beethoven at the Edge, II
8: Symphony No. 2-Beethoven at the Edge, II

Lectures 7 and 8 analyze Symphony no. 2 of 1802. We see how this symphony heralded a heroic style that Beethoven fully realized in Symphony no. 3. Also discussed is the Heiligenstadt Testament, a letter he wrote about his personal crisis as he realized he was going deaf. We consider how Beethoven's development as a composer was affected by his fight with deafness....

45 min
Symphony No. 3-The "New Path"-Heroism and Self-Expression, I
9: Symphony No. 3-The "New Path"-Heroism and Self-Expression, I

Lectures 9 through 12 focus on Symphony no. 3, the Eroica Symphony. This key work in Beethoven's compositional revolution resulted from his crisis of going deaf. Beethoven's struggle with his disability raised him to a new level of creativity. Symphony no. 3 parallels his heroic battle with and ultimate triumph over adversity. The symphony's debt to Napoleon is discussed before an analysis....

46 min
Symphony No. 3-The "New Path" -Heroism and Self-Expression, II
10: Symphony No. 3-The "New Path" -Heroism and Self-Expression, II

Lectures 9 through 12 focus on Symphony no. 3, the Eroica Symphony. This key work in Beethoven's compositional revolution resulted from his crisis of going deaf. Beethoven's struggle with his disability raised him to a new level of creativity. Symphony no. 3 parallels his heroic battle with and ultimate triumph over adversity. The symphony's debt to Napoleon is discussed before an analysis....

45 min
Symphony No. 3-The "New Path"-Heroism and Self-Expression, III
11: Symphony No. 3-The "New Path"-Heroism and Self-Expression, III

Lectures 9 through 12 focus on Symphony no. 3, the Eroica Symphony. This key work in Beethoven's compositional revolution resulted from his crisis of going deaf. Beethoven's struggle with his disability raised him to a new level of creativity. Symphony no. 3 parallels his heroic battle with and ultimate triumph over adversity. The symphony's debt to Napoleon is discussed before an analysis....

46 min
Symphony No. 3-The "New Path"-Heroism and Self-Expression, IV
12: Symphony No. 3-The "New Path"-Heroism and Self-Expression, IV

Lectures 9 through 12 focus on Symphony no. 3, the Eroica Symphony. This key work in Beethoven's compositional revolution resulted from his crisis of going deaf. Beethoven's struggle with his disability raised him to a new level of creativity. Symphony no. 3 parallels his heroic battle with and ultimate triumph over adversity. The symphony's debt to Napoleon is discussed before an analysis....

46 min
Symphony No. 4-Consolidation of the New Aesthetic, I
13: Symphony No. 4-Consolidation of the New Aesthetic, I

Lectures 13 through 16 examine Symphony no. 4 in historical context and in its relationship to opera buffa. Symphony no. 4 is the most infrequently heard of his symphonies. We see how it represents a return to a Classical structure. Its framework is filled with iconoclastic rhythms, harmonies, and characteristic motivic developments that mark it as a product of Beethoven's post-Eroica period....

45 min
Symphony No. 4-Consolidation of the New Aesthetic, II
14: Symphony No. 4-Consolidation of the New Aesthetic, II

Lectures 13 through 16 examine Symphony no. 4 in historical context and in its relationship to opera buffa. Symphony no. 4 is the most infrequently heard of his symphonies. We see how it represents a return to a Classical structure. Its framework is filled with iconoclastic rhythms, harmonies, and characteristic motivic developments that mark it as a product of Beethoven's post-Eroica period....

45 min
Symphony No. 4-Consolidation of the New Aesthetic, III
15: Symphony No. 4-Consolidation of the New Aesthetic, III

Lectures 13 through 16 examine Symphony no. 4 in historical context and in its relationship to opera buffa. Symphony no. 4 is the most infrequently heard of his symphonies. We see how it represents a return to a Classical structure. Its framework is filled with iconoclastic rhythms, harmonies, and characteristic motivic developments that mark it as a product of Beethoven's post-Eroica period....

46 min
Symphony No. 4-Consolidation of the New Aesthetic, IV
16: Symphony No. 4-Consolidation of the New Aesthetic, IV

Lectures 13 through 16 examine Symphony no. 4 in historical context and in its relationship to opera buffa. Symphony no. 4 is the most infrequently heard of his symphonies. We see how it represents a return to a Classical structure. Its framework is filled with iconoclastic rhythms, harmonies, and characteristic motivic developments that mark it as a product of Beethoven's post-Eroica period....

45 min
Symphony No. 5-The Expressive Ideal Fully Formed, I
17: Symphony No. 5-The Expressive Ideal Fully Formed, I

Lectures 17 through 19 focus on Symphony no. 5 with references to its disastrous 1808 premiere and an in-depth analysis of the score. Beethoven is revealed as an extraordinary and unprecedented master of the art of developing entire movements from small, seemingly inconsequential motives. Symphony no. 5 also shows him to have a revolutionary concept of rhythm as a narrative element and a key facto...

45 min
Symphony No. 5-The Expressive Ideal Fully Formed, II
18: Symphony No. 5-The Expressive Ideal Fully Formed, II

Lectures 17 through 19 focus on Symphony no. 5 with references to its disastrous 1808 premiere and an in-depth analysis of the score. Beethoven is revealed as an extraordinary and unprecedented master of the art of developing entire movements from small, seemingly inconsequential motives. Symphony no. 5 also shows him to have a revolutionary concept of rhythm as a narrative element and a key facto...

46 min
Symphony No. 5-The Expressive Ideal Fully Formed, III
19: Symphony No. 5-The Expressive Ideal Fully Formed, III

Lectures 17 through 19 focus on Symphony no. 5 with references to its disastrous 1808 premiere and an in-depth analysis of the score. Beethoven is revealed as an extraordinary and unprecedented master of the art of developing entire movements from small, seemingly inconsequential motives. Symphony no. 5 also shows him to have a revolutionary concept of rhythm as a narrative element and a key facto...

45 min
Symphony No. 6-The Symphony as Program, I
20: Symphony No. 6-The Symphony as Program, I

Lectures 20 through 22 discuss Symphony no. 6 as an example of pure expression, representative of Beethoven's love of nature and the countryside. We see how Beethoven elevated program music to heights it had not previously enjoyed, presaging the Romantic era's love affair with the genre. We examine how Symphony no. 6 is as different from Symphonies no. 5 and 7 as night from day....

46 min
Symphony No. 6-The Symphony as Program, II
21: Symphony No. 6-The Symphony as Program, II

Lectures 20 through 22 discuss Symphony no. 6 as an example of pure expression, representative of Beethoven's love of nature and the countryside. We see how Beethoven elevated program music to heights it had not previously enjoyed, presaging the Romantic era's love affair with the genre. We examine how Symphony no. 6 is as different from Symphonies no. 5 and 7 as night from day....

42 min
Symphony No. 6-The Symphony as Program, III
22: Symphony No. 6-The Symphony as Program, III

Lectures 20 through 22 discuss Symphony no. 6 as an example of pure expression, representative of Beethoven's love of nature and the countryside. We see how Beethoven elevated program music to heights it had not previously enjoyed, presaging the Romantic era's love affair with the genre. We examine how Symphony no. 6 is as different from Symphonies no. 5 and 7 as night from day....

47 min
Symphony No. 7-The Symphony as Dance, I
23: Symphony No. 7-The Symphony as Dance, I

Lectures 23 and 24 discuss Beethoven's Symphony no. 7 with references to the historical and personal events surrounding its composition. The essence of the symphony is seen to be the power of rhythm, and originality is seen to be an important artistic goal for Beethoven....

46 min
Symphony No. 7-The Symphony as Dance, II
24: Symphony No. 7-The Symphony as Dance, II

Lectures 23 and 24 discuss Beethoven's Symphony no. 7 with references to the historical and personal events surrounding its composition. The essence of the symphony is seen to be the power of rhythm, and originality is seen to be an important artistic goal for Beethoven....

47 min
Symphony No. 8-Homage to Classicism, I
25: Symphony No. 8-Homage to Classicism, I

Lectures 25 through 27 discuss Beethoven's Symphony no. 8 of 1814, and refer to the personal and political events that affected Beethoven's life. We learn how Symphony no. 8, reminiscent of the Classical style, is a "modern" work, full of Beethoven's personality. Other topics discussed include the "Immortal Beloved" affair, Beethoven's deteriorating health, Napoleon's demise, W...

45 min
Symphony No. 8-Homage to Classicism, II
26: Symphony No. 8-Homage to Classicism, II

Lectures 25 through 27 discuss Beethoven's Symphony no. 8 of 1814, and refer to the personal and political events that affected Beethoven's life. We learn how Symphony no. 8, reminiscent of the Classical style, is a "modern" work, full of Beethoven's personality. Other topics discussed include the "Immortal Beloved" affair, Beethoven's deteriorating health, Napoleon's demise, W...

45 min
Symphony No. 8-Homage to Classicism, III
27: Symphony No. 8-Homage to Classicism, III

Lectures 25 through 27 discuss Beethoven's Symphony no. 8 of 1814, and refer to the personal and political events that affected Beethoven's life. We learn how Symphony no. 8, reminiscent of the Classical style, is a "modern" work, full of Beethoven's personality. Other topics discussed include the "Immortal Beloved" affair, Beethoven's deteriorating health, Napoleon's demise, W...

46 min
Symphony No. 9-The Symphony as the World, I
28: Symphony No. 9-The Symphony as the World, I

The last five lectures are devoted to Symphony no. 9, the most influential Western musical composition of the 19th century and the most influential symphony ever written. We see how this work obliterated distinctions between the instrumental symphony and dramatic vocal works such as opera. Also discussed are Beethoven's fall from public favor in 1815, his disastrous relationship with his nephew Ka...

45 min
Symphony No. 9-The Symphony as the World, II
29: Symphony No. 9-The Symphony as the World, II

The last five lectures are devoted to Symphony no. 9, the most influential Western musical composition of the 19th century and the most influential symphony ever written. We see how this work obliterated distinctions between the instrumental symphony and dramatic vocal works such as opera. Also discussed are Beethoven's fall from public favor in 1815, his disastrous relationship with his nephew Ka...

45 min
Symphony No. 9-The Symphony as the World, III
30: Symphony No. 9-The Symphony as the World, III

The last five lectures are devoted to Symphony no. 9, the most influential Western musical composition of the 19th century and the most influential symphony ever written. We see how this work obliterated distinctions between the instrumental symphony and dramatic vocal works such as opera. Also discussed are Beethoven's fall from public favor in 1815, his disastrous relationship with his nephew Ka...

46 min
Symphony No. 9-The Symphony as the World, IV
31: Symphony No. 9-The Symphony as the World, IV

The last five lectures are devoted to Symphony no. 9, the most influential Western musical composition of the 19th century and the most influential symphony ever written. We see how this work obliterated distinctions between the instrumental symphony and dramatic vocal works such as opera. Also discussed are Beethoven's fall from public favor in 1815, his disastrous relationship with his nephew Ka...

45 min
Symphony No. 9-The Symphony as the World, V
32: Symphony No. 9-The Symphony as the World, V

The last five lectures are devoted to Symphony no. 9, the most influential Western musical composition of the 19th century and the most influential symphony ever written. We see how this work obliterated distinctions between the instrumental symphony and dramatic vocal works such as opera. Also discussed are Beethoven's fall from public favor in 1815, his disastrous relationship with his nephew Ka...

46 min
Robert Greenberg

For thousands of years cultures have celebrated themselves through their music. Let us always be willing and able to join that celebration by listening as carefully as we can to what, through music, we have to say to one another.

ALMA MATER

University of California, Berkeley

INSTITUTION

San Francisco Performances

About Robert Greenberg

Dr. Robert Greenberg is Music Historian-in-Residence with San Francisco Performances. A graduate of Princeton University, Professor Greenberg holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of California, Berkeley. He has seen his compositions-which include more than 45 works for a wide variety of instrumental and vocal ensembles-performed all over the world, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, England, Ireland, Greece, Italy, and the Netherlands. He has served on the faculties of the University of California, Berkeley; California State University, Hayward; and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and has lectured for some of the most prestigious musical and arts organizations in the United States, including the San Francisco Symphony, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Van Cliburn Foundation, and the Chicago Symphony. For The Great Courses, he has recorded more than 500 lectures on a range of composers and classical music genres. Professor Greenberg is a Steinway Artist. His many other honors include three Nicola de Lorenzo Composition Prizes and a Koussevitzky commission from the Library of Congress. He has been profiled in various major publications, including The Wall Street Journal; Inc. magazine; and the London Times.