It's been a while since we've had some classical music. Let's remedy that this morning with one of my favorite pieces, Beethoven's 7th Symphony. Wikipedia says of it:
At its premiere, Beethoven was noted as remarking that it was one of his best works. The second movement, Allegretto, was the most popular movement and had to be encored. The instant popularity of the Allegretto resulted in its frequent performance separate from the complete symphony.
. . .
When Beethoven began composing the 7th symphony, Napoleon was planning his campaign against Russia. After the 3rd Symphony, and possibly the 5th as well, the 7th Symphony seems to be another of Beethoven's musical confrontations with Napoleon, this time in the context of the European wars of liberation from years of Napoleonic domination.
Beethoven's life at this time was marked by a worsening hearing loss, which made "conversation notebooks" necessary from 1819 on, with the help of which Beethoven communicated in writing.
The work was premiered with Beethoven himself conducting in Vienna on 8 December 1813 at a charity concert for soldiers wounded in the Battle of Hanau. In Beethoven's address to the participants, the motives are not openly named: "We are moved by nothing but pure patriotism and the joyful sacrifice of our powers for those who have sacrificed so much for us."
There's more at the link.
This recording is from the 2012 season of the annual BBC Proms, or Promenade Concerts, in Britain. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is conducted by Daniel Barenboim at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. If you ever get the opportunity to attend one of the Proms concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, it's quite the experience. Highly recommended, for the crowd atmosphere (particularly during the fabled Last Night of The Proms) as much as the music.