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A Light Symphony Concert


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THOUGH this is called the first of Beethoven's
Concertos because it was the earliest to be published, it was really the second in order of composition. If one compares it with the so-called Second Concerto, it will be found to be in many ways an advance upon that. It was written when the composer was about twenty-eight, and is full of life and grace.
FIRST MOVEMENT. As was usual then in the Concerto, the Orchestra alone, in the opening bars, first presents the chief themes. These are soon taken up by the Pianoforte, which deals brilliantly with them. Near the end there is a pause for the ' cadenza,' when the Piano goes off on an adventure of its own. Beethoven wrote three cadenzas to this Movement, the last of which is one of the finest examples we have of this kind of pianoforte oratory.
The SLOW MOVEMENT is based on an expressive melody which the Solo instrument richly decorates. The Clarinet has a particularly beautiful and important part to play.
The LAST MOVEMENT is the usual Rondo, the phrases of its First Main Tune delightfully extended beyond the usual four-bar length, in a fashion that reminds us of Haydn, and shows that the Composer is bent on keeping the tune ' in the air ' all the time.
The contrasting Second Tune comes in on the First Violins and Oboes, and (after the return of the original melody) a Third appears on the Piano (the left hand leaping spiritedly up and down), accompanied by a brief conversation between Flutes and Bassoons. There are three little cadenzas in this Movement, before the Orchestra steps in and has the last word.
BEETHOVEN'S Second Symphony was first performed in Vienna in 1803, when he was thirty-three. Even in those days of his young manhood he was suffering from incipient deafness, and from other troubles. Just a few months before he completed this happy work he had been plunged into one of those fits of depression that became more common afterwards, but which he overcame with magnificent courage, as he overcame many more trials in his later years.
There are four Movements.
The FIRST MOVEMENT, after a very slow and fairly long Introduction, dashes off in a quick, spirited style, and ho keeps this up throughout its course.
The SECOND MOVEMENT. (Slow, with breadth).
This is mainly lyrical, and there is in it much delicate and charming Woodwind work.
THIRD MOVEMENT. This is the Scherzo. Instead of the old Minuet, Beethoven gives us a livelier, more skittish movement.
FOURTH MOVEMENT. This is a lively piece to wind up with.


Conducted By: T. H. Morrison

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A Light Symphony Concert

2ZY Manchester, 4 March 1928 15.30

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