There are nodal points in music (and in all human endeavour, I suppose), after which everything seems to move off in a new direction. The Eroica Symphony is an example of this phenomenon; after it, nothing in music would ever be the same.
But, having made a ground-breaking gesture, where do you go from there?
The Fourth Symphony returns to a more Haydnesque style of writing; so it tends to be overshadowed by its two monumental, brow-furrowing siblings, the Eroica and the Fifth. That said, it’s a work that’s been much admired by many distinguished composers (Berlioz, Schumann, Mendelssohn) and is a fine example of that very rare thing – a genius having fun and delighting in his powers.
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