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Short Short Short Long

What Beethoven 5 means to VRT journalist, musician and classical music jack-of-all-trades Sander De Keere.

Short Short Short Long. It wouldn’t be Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony without the first four notes. This rhythmic bar conjures up the image of fate knocking at the door still captures the imagination.

How Beethoven came up with such a powerful opening remains amazing. One thing is certain: the way the Fifth begins determines the entire character of the first section (Allegro con brio).

This work is like a giant breath that erupts in triumphant victory. A story from minor to major. Both in figurative and musical terms, as the Fifth Symphony begins low, before ending in the high and hopeful world of Do. A true scale of celebration and victory. V for Victory! And guess what the letter ‘V’ is in morse code. You’ve got it. Short Short Short Long.


- Sander De Keere

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