Franz Liszt’s Transcription of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, 1st Movement, Performed by Olga Kopylova


“Liszt’s transcriptions of Beethoven’s nine symphonies are famous for their technical difficulty and, for this reason, remain almost unplayed and little known to this day,” the pianist writes, performing above in an empty Sala São Paulo.

Of course, “Beethoven’s most famous work is a symbol of exclusion and elitism in classical music,” and “wealthy white men who embraced Beethoven… turned his symphony into a symbol of their superiority and importance,” leaving out “others — women, LGBTQ+ people, people of color — [for whom] Beethoven’s symphony may be predominantly a reminder of classical music’s history of exclusion and elitism” — How Beethoven’s 5th Symphony put the classism in classical music.

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