Beethoven Composes His Fourth Symphony

Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 4 in B Flat Major, Op. 60, was written in 1806.

It was premiered in March of 1807 at a private concert of the home of Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz. The Coriolan Overture and the fourth piano concerto were premiered in that same concert.

The work was dedicated to Count Franz von Oppersdorff, a relative of Beethoven's patron, Prince Lichnowsky. The Count met Beethoven when he traveled to Lichnowsky's summer home where Beethoven was staying. Von Oppersdorff listened to Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 in D Major, and liked it so much that he offered a great amount of money for Beethoven to compose a new symphony for him. The dedication was made to "the Silesian nobleman Count Franz von Oppersdorf".

Symphony No. 4 in B flat major, op. 60 is a creation that found no justice, considered to be an intermediary symphony between Symphony No. 3 and Symphony No. 5. The story of its appearance is pretty uncertain because no drafts remained. We only know it was written while Beethoven was working on Symphony No.5 . Nevertheless, it can be considered a study on the problematic of classical symphony.

The Fourth has suffered from being wedged, as it were, between the monumental Third and the mighty Fifth. It is perhaps the least heard of the nine. So treat yourself, enjoy the gallop of the first movement, wonder at the harsh chords of descent into despair in the second movement, the syncopated rhythms of the third movement, and try to keep your hands and feet still in the impossibly lively fourth movement.