Everyone knows Beethoven’s Fifth


The opening chords of Beethoven’s fifth symphony are perhaps the most recognisable in all music, seeming to spread doom. Its minor key adds to the despair.

But hold on a moment. It is sometimes easy to gloss over one of the most uplifting few minutes ever scored. Go to this link attached .

These are the  third and fourth movements. After four and a half minutes, you will encounter the genius transition of dark to light. I wonder where it will take you when you listen to it. Whenever I hear it, I see myself tucked up in a dark room, as my mother comes in to wake me up. She tiptoes towards the curtains, and for a split second pauses before opening them vigorously to let in a blaze of morning sunshine. It is a moment of joy and glory.



4 thoughts on “Everyone knows Beethoven’s Fifth”

  1. My Dear Nick,
    How brilliant! Indeed it is an extraordinary transition. Curtains being pulled apart indeed!
    I’ve never seen music visualised with this kind of graphic – it certainly adds to one’s appreciation of the mental process of construction required.
    Thank you for bringing your knowledge and eloquent appreciation to us all.

    All the best,



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