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Beethoven: Symphony No. 8

Stephen Johnson explores Beethoven's most playful symphony, the Eighth, to reveal a mastery of the form and a work replete with as many radical ideas as many others he created.

The musical jokes and light-hearted character of Beethoven's Eighth Symphony provide an irresistible contrast with the heroic and tempestuous symphonic works that precede and follow it. Beethoven famously called it his "little symphony", but it's never been clear what prompted him to say that. Stephen Johnson peels back the layers, to reveal a work that's bursting with ideas and just as radical in its own way as anything else Beethoven created.

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20 minutes

Credit

Role Contributor
Composer Ludwig van Beethoven

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