John Eliot Gardiner on the Beethoven Symphonies

Symphony No. 1: Beethoven announces himself

Symphony No. 2: Expanding the canvas

Symphony No. 3 'Eroica': Heroism & shock tactics

Symphony No. 4: Composing for all eternity

Symphony No. 5: Subversive subtexts

Symphony No. 6: Pantheism and camaraderie

Symphony No. 7: Dithyrambic abandon

Symphony No. 8: A tribute to Haydn

Symphony No. 9: 'Up above the stars he must dwell'

​As part of our Beethoven 250 celebrations, we are delighted to share a nine-part series of films in which John Eliot Gardiner gives his thoughts on Beethoven’s musical mind, featuring exclusive footage of the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique rehearsing for our Beethoven Symphony Cycle.

Beethoven’s process of composition meant wrestling not just with beauty and emotion but also with political and humanitarian themes. During these uncertain times, perhaps more than any other composer, he gives us a feeling of triumph over adversity. The symphonies express Beethoven’s own bravery in the face of personal problems and these documentaries capture John Eliot Gardiner and the ORR tackling the music with a mixture of scholarship, energy, imagination and a complete devotion to Beethoven’s miraculous vision.