Next Friday, on the 24th of April at 7 p.m. during the subsequent INTERNET CONCERT you will have an opportunity to listen to Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 60 by Ludwig van Beethoven performed by Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra led by Tadeusz Strugała. The concert, which marked the 60th anniversary of Tadeusz Strugała’s artistic work, was held on the 18th of December 2015 in AMU Concert Hall in Poznan. The film recording was done by INEA company.

We encourage you to read the introduction to the program of the concert.

Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 60

Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, Op. 60 by Ludwig van Beethoven, which was completed in 1806 and performed for the first time a year later in Vienna, contrasts significantly with two revolutionary symphonies of the composer written in the same period – Symphony No. 3 in E flat major Eroica and Symphony No. 5 in C minor. It is hard to seek hidden serious, nonmusical content referring to grand ideas in this unusually cheerful and bright Symphony, as opposed to the two aforementioned works. This piece is indicated as a Haydn-type Symphony, with a characteristic longer introduction before the first movement, classical symmetry, well-balanced sound of all the instrumental sections, as well as the typical four-movement form involving sonata-allegro, slow movement, minuet (it is worth mentioning that in the previous symphonies Beethoven replaced it with scherzo) and Finale in the form of a rondo.

First movement, although it opens with a somber Adagio introduction, not consistent with the rest of the piece (some point it out as an example of Beethoven’s musical irony), soon clears up in Allegro vivace. Two joyful and classically contrasting themes are introduced here. The optimistic mood of the allegro will dominate till the end of the Symphony, including the second movement (Adagio). This part, however, due to its slower tempo is filled with more lyrical themes – it is worth to focus on the melodious clarinet theme. Third movement (Allegro vivace) enlivens the symphony after the soothing second movement. Though formally a minuet, it diverges from classical minuets by Joseph Haydn or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart owing to the agility of the themes and unique syncopated, slightly folk rhythmic. Finale – Allegro ma non troppo – is a rondo filled with musical joke, chiefly in the humourous parts played by woodwinds. The whole movement shows vigorous motility evoked by perpetually fragmented rhythm. At the end of the finale Beethoven unexpectedly turns the volume down in the whole orchestra in order to wittily introduce the tutti chords of the cadence.

Jakub Kasperski

(excerpt of the program of the concert, 18th of December 2015)