According to the great man himself, this was one of Beethoven’s greatest works and has rightly been recognized as being so. The second movement in particular was so popular that on its premiere, the orchestra were forced to encore it. To this day its popularity has not dwindled and the second movement has its own legacy outside of the symphony.
Tags: 2nd movement, 7th symphony, Beethoven, romantic era
Camille Saint-Saëns one of the great Romantic composers was inspired by the old French legend “La Danse Macabre” which has been translated to the “Dance of Death”. This legend consists of various dead people from all walks of life but generally include a laborer,child and a king dancing at midnight on Halloween to the devil’s fiddle (which has been changed in the piece to a violin) before returning to their graves. This was commonly used as a memento mori in the middle ages to show the universal nature of death and that nothing on earth can deny any one of us the same fate. Here the composer took this allegory and built one of the greatest pieces in the history of music. The song is incredibly complex and would require an incredible amount of work to completely dissect, for the sake of clarity let us look at the opening passage before the composition spirals into insanity with the use of counterpoint and dramatic orchestration.
Tags: camille saint-saens, la danse macabre, romantic era