Beethoven’s Fifth

Sunday 7 July

12:00PM

City Recital Hall


The Sydney Youth Orchestra

Alexander Briger AO, Chief Conductor

This score has been generously donated to the SYO Music Libary by Susie and Martin Dickson AM.


Those first four notes. Three short, one long. Instantly, classical music was atomised, the symphonic form stripped down and readied for an upgrade and a fresh install. Music from a little over two hundred years ago doesn’t get any more primal than this. No wonder it’s the most famous single moment in Western classical music; the point of ‘arrival’ for every aspiring orchestral player. You haven’t really ‘done’ the repertoire in earnest until you’ve played Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. And it’s not until you keep listening past those first four notes that you realise what a dangerous piece it is.

The second Sydney Youth Orchestra concert for 2019 sees the organisation’s leading Orchestra take on this major artwork in Western culture in what promises to be a revelatory performance under Chief Conductor Alexander Briger AO. For many in the Orchestra, this will be a moment of first exposure to the Fifth in its complex entirety; the music being as new to them as it was to a bewildered audience in a Viennese theatre back in 1808.

‘There’s nothing more exciting for an audience than to be present at a pivotal moment of discovery like this,’ says Briger. ‘It’s real shock and awe. The players’ responses to the music become those of all of us. Everything becomes new. I’m tempted to call this the world premiere performance of Beethoven’s Fifth!’

Before Beethoven’s groundbreaking arc of psychodrama, the SYO brings us the portrait of a simpler, more serene world in the orchestral suite from Aaron Copland’s ballet from 1944, Appalachian Spring. A return to diatonicism at a time when the world and Western art music was shredding apart, the work is memorable for its treatment of the old Shaker song Simple Gifts, setting a sonic model for an ‘American’ musical voice – an evocation of open fields, wide skies and endless possibilities.

Additional Information:

Young children are welcome at Sydney Youth Orchestra concerts. For all performances, children two years of age or older must have a ticket (even if the accompanying adult intends to sit the child on his/her knees).

This concert is General Admission.

Doors will open 15 minutes prior to the start of the event.

Please bring your ticket to display at the door and gain entry to the venue.

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