Seattle Symphony

Beethoven rules the New Year at Benaroya

G-G-G-E-flat: Perhaps the most famous four notes in all musicdom. They’ve been used to introduce comically enormous dogs, spun into intense rave remixes, and are recognized by even the most classical-averse. Ludwig van Beethoven was descending into silence as he composed his Fifth Symphony—perhaps that’s why he wrote something that began with a solid shock to the heart. The Seattle Symphony, led by Gerard Schwarz, brings it to life this weekend on the heels of their New Year’s Eve performance of that other really famous symphony he wrote. But for the weak of heart and stomach, the program will ease you out of your extended post-New Year’s hangover, beginning with Johann Strauss’ On the Beautiful Blue Danube and leading into Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 20 featuring 26-year-old Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear. The program notes call the Fifth an exploration of fate, so perhaps here’s a chance to meditate on those 2008 resolutions. If you’re not a symphony regular, it’s also a good time to find out what happens after those famous first four notes.

Sat., March 1, 11 a.m.; Sat., March 8, 11 a.m., 2008

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