Matthew Guerrieri: "The First Four Notes: Beethoven's Fifth and the Human Imagination" | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

Filed Under:

Matthew Guerrieri: "The First Four Notes: Beethoven's Fifth and the Human Imagination"

The opening phrase of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is one of the most widely recognized in music. It has mystified musicians, historians and philosophers for 200 years. Music critic Matthew Guerrieri says it's "short enough to remember and portentous enough to be memorable." Listeners agree it says something powerful and profound, but none can agree on what that might be. Guerrieri considers what could have influenced Beethoven when he wrote those four notes. And he describes how the motif has been interpreted around the world and throughout history. Join Diane and her guest for new insights into the music, the composer and the Fifth Symphony's lasting influence.

The First Movement Of Beethoven's 5th Symphony

Read An Excerpt

Excerpt from "The First Four Notes: Beethoven's Fifth and the Human Imagination" by Matthew Guerrieri. Copyright 2012 by Matthew Guerrieri. Reprinted here by permission of Knopf. All rights reserved.

NPR

For Paul Cezanne, An Apple A Day Kept Obscurity Away

In the 1800s, still-life painting was the bottom feeder of the art world, but that's where the French painter chose to leave his mark. "I want to astonish Paris with an apple," he's said to have said.
NPR

From McDonald's To Organic Valley, You're Probably Eating Wood Pulp

Many processed foods contain cellulose, which is plant fiber that is commonly extracted from wood. It's used to add texture, prevent caking and boost fiber. And it's been around for ages.
NPR

FBI, NSA Spied On American Muslims, Report Says

The latest revelation from Edward Snowden's NSA trove is a story that appeared in the online publication The Intercept. Five prominent Muslim citizens say they were spied on because they're Muslims.
NPR

What Burritos And Sandwiches Can Teach Us About Innovation

Is a burrito a sandwich? The answer may sound simple to you ... but the question gets at the very heart of a tension that's existed for ages.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.