The Symphony No. 5 in C minor of Ludwig van Beethoven, Op. 67, was written between 1804 and 1808. It is one of the best-known compositions in classical music and one of the most frequently played symphonies, and it is widely considered one of the cornerstones of western music. First performed in Vienna's Theater an der Wien in 1808, the work achieved its prodigious reputation soon afterward. E. T. A. Hoffmann described the symphony as "one of the most important works of the time". As is typical of symphonies in the classical period, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is in four movements.
It begins with a distinctive four-note "short-short-short-long" motif:
The symphony, and the four-note opening motif in particular, are known worldwide, with the motif appearing frequently in popular culture, from disco versions to rock and roll covers, to uses in film and television.
Like Beethoven's Eroica (heroic) and Pastorale (rural), Symphony No. 5 was given an explicit name, besides the numbering. It became popular under "Schicksals-Sinfonie" (Fate Symphony), and the famous five bar theme was coined "Schicksals-Motiv". This name is also used in translations.
Performances & Interviews
- Beethoven: Symphony No. 5https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01tnr0y.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01tnr0y.jpg2014-05-08T18:17:00.000ZStephen Johnson and the BBCSO with Grant Llewellyn explore Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p01yqtzm
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5Stephen Johnson and the BBCSO with Grant Llewellyn explore Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.
- Beethoven: Symphony No. 5https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01lcgg8.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01lcgg8.jpg2013-01-09T20:47:00.000ZStephen Johnson explores Beethoven's most popular work and arguably the most famous pieces of classical music ever written, the Symphony No. 5 in C minor.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/b01pmh5n
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5Stephen Johnson explores Beethoven's most popular work and arguably the most famous pieces of classical music ever written, the Symphony No. 5 in C minor.
- Beethoven's Fifth Symphonyhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05smlv4.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05smlv4.jpg2013-02-12T17:29:00.000ZIt is so much more than just 'da da da dum'. Exploring the impact of Beethoven's 5th Symphony. With Dana Cameron. From February 2013.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/b01qlpcg
Beethoven's Fifth SymphonyIt is so much more than just 'da da da dum'. Exploring the impact of Beethoven's 5th Symphony. With Dana Cameron. From February 2013.
- Beethoven: Symphony No. 5https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01ssxq0.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01ssxq0.jpg2014-07-11T15:17:00.000ZIn this Proms Music Guide, Andrew McGregor talks about Beethoven's 5th symphony.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p022nmkr
Beethoven: Symphony No. 5In this Proms Music Guide, Andrew McGregor talks about Beethoven's 5th symphony.
- Beethoven: Symphony No.5 in C minorhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03cy9l3.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p03cy9l3.jpg2016-01-02T09:00:00.000ZNicholas Baragwanath recommends a recording of Beethoven's 5th Symphony.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p03cy9m6
Beethoven: Symphony No.5 in C minorNicholas Baragwanath recommends a recording of Beethoven's 5th Symphony.