Symphony No. 5 in C minor (Fate), Op. 67

At the age of 26, Ludwig van Beethoven started suffering from approaching deafness. In 1802, he wrote the famous Heiligenstadt Testament, in which he poured out despair, described loneliness, the loss of friends and the only companion of his life – music. The Fifth Symphony, which he worked on in 1804–1808, reflects the complex experiences of the composer. Beethoven realized the cruelty of reality but did not give in to fate. The Symphony’s idea could be described by the composer’s phrase – “Thus Fate knocks at the door”. This four-note motif is commonly called the theme of Fate. Beethoven devised the opening motif, which recures throughout the Symphony, as a symbol of evil. The conflicting mood is replaced by spiritual peace, noble and uplifting contemplation in the second movement. The third movement, Scherzo, is very diverse. Beethoven abandons the mood typical of the scherzo genre. After the introduction, the intonation of the motif of Fate knocks decisively and obsessively. The composer seems to warn that victory is still a long way off and happiness is hardly reachable. A huge crescendo moves on to the finale attacca, which becomes an optimistic denouement of the drama – Beethoven did not give in to fate. In the finale, the minor reincarnates into the major. The opus concludes with a victorious march.

Symbolically revisiting 2020, when the whole world celebrated the 250th birth anniversary of the famous Viennese classicist, the remarkable symphonic score is performed by the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by maestro Modestas Pitrėnas.

PUBLISHED: 2021-05-14