The Station Orchestra, conducted by Warwick Braithwaite
Of Beethoven's nine Symphonies, the first was written when he was about thirty, and the last when he was about fifty-four. They cover, then, a period of about a quarter of a century of his active working life, and anyone who has heard the whole series must have realized that they illustrate, in a very striking way, his development from simplicity to complexity. His First symphony now to be heard though on many pages it exhibits quite definitely Beethoven's own personality, yet in its brevity, clarity and lightness of touch suggests his older contemporaries (and, to some extent, teachers) Haydn and Mozart.
The piece falls into the usual four Movements. A short Slow Introduction leads to a spirited First Movement.
The Second Movement is delicate, and expressive, in lyrical vein.
The Third shows Beethoven making the older Minuet into a livelier piece, containing jests and surprises.
The Finale, after its comical attempt to get started, darts off into the gayest of dance-lilts.
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