La Monnaie Symphony Orchestra – Alain Altinoglu conductor – Agnès Clément harp
Symphony no. 5, op. 67 Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony no. 6, op. 68, "Pastorale" Ludwig van Beethoven
New work for harp and orchestra (World Première - commission La Monnaie) Wim Henderickx
‘It’s huge, it’s absolutely mad! You’d be scared the house might fall down!’ exclaimed Goethe in 1830, when Mendelssohn played him Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. La Monnaie’s Beethoven cycle would be incomplete without the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, two of the most famous and emblematic of their composer’s oeuvre and, indeed, of the entire symphonic repertoire. The two works were composed during the same period and were premiered together – and are now once again coupled for this programme. The Sixth, known as the ‘Pastoral’, paints a landscape that is more emotional and internal than physical. The Fifth, for its part, needs no introduction: its powerful opening theme, which has been described as the blows of fate knocking at the door, gives coherence and tension to this monumental work. Over the years, this tension has never failed to grip audiences; according to Berlioz, at the performance of the work in Paris, ‘a nervous spasm shook the whole room’!