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The Very Political Ludwig van Beethoven

The second movement of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 is "kind of a march," says Christoph von Dohnanyi, "in respect for all the victims who suffered by Napoleon's attacks."

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) wrote his seventh symphony in the midst of Napoleon’s attempts to conquer Europe. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, the work, and its second movement in particular, is a tribute to freedom. Here, the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta, performs:


On Sunday, June 15th on WRTI, conductor Christoph von Dohnanyi leads The Philadelphia Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, Weber's Clarinet Concerto, and Brahms' Variations on a Theme of Joseph Haydn.

Listen to more of WRTI's Susan Lewis' conversation with Maestro Christoph von Dohnanyi about Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, written during Napoleon's conquest of Europe.

As senior producer of arts and culture, Susan writes and produces stories about music and the arts. She’s host and producer of WRTI’s TIME IN online interview series, and producer of The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series, to which she also contributes weekly intermission interviews. She’s also been a regular host of WRTI’s Live from the Performance Studio sessions.