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Music  Club > 2020 Spring (Season 14)
Music Club: 22 April 2020
(Video Conference opens 6:30 - Talk starts at 7:00 - 8:15)

Title: Beethoven's 5th Symphony - The Return from the Abyss

Language: English (supported by some Arabic)
Speaker: Akram Najjar

Format: Video Conference using ZOOM

Download the Presentation Videos
1) Click Here to download the full PowerPoint presentation in slideshow format. (5 MB).
2) Click Here for an animated version of the first movement
3) Click Here to download a Video of the Introductory Presentation (230 MB)
4) Click Here to download a Video of the analysis of Movements 1+2 with a subtitled commentary performance (375 MB)
5) Click Here to download a Video of the anlaysis of Movements 3+4 with a subtitled commentary performance (260 MB)




The talk will introduce Beethoven in his middle period, a time of strife for him. He  was going deaf. He was in need of money at a time when politically, Vienna was in trouble, hence sponsors were scarce. More importantly, it was a time when he was trying to take off the classical coat of forms he had inherited from Mozart and Haydn. That time was a time of great stress as he battled with the old while creatively composing new forms.

Akram will introduce various terms needed when looking at the structure of the Symphony: themes, sonata allegro, cadences, etc. He will introduce the movements, one by one. Each one will be broken down into smaller sections. After each presentation, the movement will be run as an Audio track with subtitles. These subtitles will show you, theme by theme, how the movement is progressing.

In due course, you will be able to download the following:
1) The full PowerPoint presentation
2) The supporting short clips (not the symphony)
3) A link to a YouTube performance by Thielemann and the Vienna Philharmonic + the substitles. You can then run the performance and view the commentary as we did in the conference.



Akram Najjar is a graduate of AUB in Physics and Mathematics (1966). By 1969, he completed a degree in Electronic Engineering in University of Hertfordshire, UK. His professional life was spent in Information Technology. When he was 11 years old he was sick for 6 months. His mother Souad introduced him to Classical Music, which became a life long love. (Later on joined by Rock and Jazz). Unfortunately, after an initial tuition of 18 months, he did not continue his piano studies. Through his love for music, he became an informed and dedicated amateur. At AUB, he took many courses in philosophy and literature. He used the analytic and critical approached he learnt in these fields to arrive at a critical understanding of music.
Akram has published several technical books (www.marginalbooks.com), a few literary works (www.marginalstories.com) and 4 puzzle books (www.thehiddenpaw.com).

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