Dohnányi, Historical Seating, Produce a Riveting Beethoven Fifth

If the four-note thunderclap – da-da-da-DUM – that opens Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony does indeed evoke Fate knocking on our door, that fearsome presence arrived at Copley Symphony Hall in a hurry last Friday evening. Conductor Christoph von Dohnányi, leading the piece without a score before him, launched the first movement with a brisk tempo that riveted both players and audience. I have rarely seen – or heard – the San Diego Symphony playing with so much concentrated clarity as it displayed in the opening pages of what may well be the most famous piece of music in the Western world…

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