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Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 has never been more dramatic

J-P Mauro - published on 02/14/22

This exceptional animation has brought new suspense to the most influential classical piece of all time.

For all his Catholic Mass settings, operas, and symphonies, Beethoven’s “Fifth” will always stand apart. It is considered to be one of, if not the, most important and influential pieces of all time. Not only is the piece one of the most performed classical compositions to this day, it is also the perfect soundtrack for a sled ride. 

YouTuber DoodleChaos created this animation back in 2018, and it has since garnered some 157 million views. The ill-fated sledders travel on a course that contours itself to the rhythm of the music, producing a death-defying course as dramatic as the symphony itself. 

It is made all the more thrilling by the attention to details. For example, the three sledders are continuously traveling through the course, even if they are not always visible. DoodleChaos went above and beyond in this one, weaving the riders in and out of each other’s paths at times to better suit the tumultuous crescendos of the piece.

Not to be confused with Walter Murphy’s “A Fifth of Beethoven,” Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” was written between 1804 and 1808. In a brilliant display of 19th-century poetic analysis, music critic E.T.A. Hoffmann described the piece as sounding almost like a religious experience

“How this wonderful composition, in a climax that climbs on and on, leads the listener imperiously forward into the spirit world of the infinite! … No doubt the whole rushes like an ingenious rhapsody past many a man, but the soul of each thoughtful listener is assuredly stirred, deeply and intimately, by a feeling that is none other than that unutterable portentous longing, and until the final chord—indeed, even in the moments that follow it—he will be powerless to step out of that wondrous spirit realm where grief and joy embrace him in the form of sound …”

During WWII, the piece became known as the “Victory Symphony.” As the composer’s fifth symphony, it is sometimes referred to with the Roman numeral “V,” which happened to coincide with the Allied campaign slogan “V for Victory.” It is because of this that the Morse Code signal for the letter “V” is the rhythm of the opening phrase – “dit-dit-dit-dah.”

Did we put you in the mood to hear Walter Murphy’s funk-infused arrangement of Beethoven’s 5th? Give it a listen below. 

Tags:
Classical Music
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