Beethoven Composes His Eighth Symphony

Symphony No. 8 in F Major, Op. 93 is a symphony in four movements composed by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1812.

Beethoven fondly referred to it as "my little Symphony in F", distinguishing it from his Sixth Symphony, a longer work also in F.

The Eighth Symphony is generally light-hearted, though not lightweight, and in many places is cheerfully loud, with many accented notes. Various passages in the symphony are heard by some listeners to be musical jokes. As with various other Beethoven works such as the Opus 27 piano sonatas, the symphony deviates from Classical tradition in making the last movement the weightiest of the four.

Symphony No. 8 in F major, op. 93 is the shortest of all, hence called “The Little Symphony in F major” and it perfectly fits the pattern of 18th century classical symphony. It is composed around the same time as Symphony No. 7, but it differs from it. On the symphony’s manuscript there is a note made by the composer: " Sinfonia Linz, im Monat Oktober 1812", a reminder of the visit Beethoven made his brother Johann upon returning from Teplitz.

Beethoven's Eighth, like the Fourth, suffers from being wedged between two mighty works. But listen to Toscanini’s 1939 recording of it, and you will hear in the build-up to the first movement climax music that catches fire and marvel too at Beethoven’s audacity.