Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony: Iván Fischer and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Wagner called Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony “the apotheosis of dance.” This quality is evident in Iván Fischer’s spectacular January, 2014 performance with Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

It isn’t that we hear “dance music” in this sunny, spirited, A major romp of a Symphony. Instead, it’s the instrumental voices of the orchestra which seem to enter into a sublime “dance.” One by one, they come to life and weave together in between the celebratory chords of the opening introduction. In the opening of the second movement, the “dance” turns into a solemn procession, beginning in the low strings. Listen to the way this persistently repeated rhythmic ostinato rises to heroic proportions as the movement unfolds. (String players will notice Fischer’s embrace of the open E string in the first violins around 16:00 and the distinct tone color which results).

Listen with good headphones, and you may hear some musical lines which often get obscured. (For example, the clarity of the inner voices in the passage beginning at 2:52). Perhaps this is a result of a combination of factors including the fine acoustics and intimacy of the Concertgebouw, excellent recording quality, and an incredible cohesiveness and precision in the orchestra. Regardless, a special, buoyant energy runs through this magical performance:


  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92, Iván Fischer, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amazon

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

2 thoughts on “Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony: Iván Fischer and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra”

  1. I attended a glorious performance by Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra in an all-Dvorák program at Avery Fischer Hall, Lincoln Center in 2014. In February of 2017 we braved blizzard conditions and hazardous driving to attend another glorious performance in an all-Beethoven program at Symphony Hall, Boston. The performance by Iván Fischer and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony is spectacular! I would love to attend an event with Iván Fischer conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra!

  2. This is a perfect example of what an almost miraculous collaboration a great symphony orchestra, conductor and composer can be! As someone who sat in symphony orchestras for many years, I think this illustrates the true art of conducting on the part of Ivan Fischer. Bravo!


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