We reckon this is the all-time greatest crescendo in classical music (there will be goosebumps)

Crescendo asset

Listen to the epic crescendo that bridges the third and fourth movements of Beethoven's 5th. It's just remarkable.

Wagner might have higher decibels and Richard Strauss might have more brass, but we reckon the greatest moment of soft to loud happens in Beethoven's masterful, epoch-defining Symphony No. 5. 

Hear us out, then don some headphones and see if you agree. 

This extraordinary moment occurs at the end of the symphony's third movement, heralded by punchy rhythms and probing legato themes,  combining to hint that something is about to explode... and it really does. Let us walk you through it.

From soft to loud

Naturally, seeing as it's a crescendo, the beginning of this incredible passage is marked a whispering ppp. We journey though sempre pp (literally 'still very soft') and then suddenly grow though the crescendo to a storming ff.

From minor to major

There's nothing like a tonal switch to make something feel really epic. The first and third movements of this symphony are darkly minor and this crescendo through a massive dominant chord into a blast of C major goodness is just so satisfying.

From darkness to light

You can almost hear fate knocking in this third movement, especially in the timpani: all is dark, contorted, troubled and, frankly, a bit depressing. But after this wonderful symphonic swell, a brass fanfare opens up a heroic, optimistic and celebratory finale.

Enjoy the goosebump-inducing moment

How is it best experienced?

In the Classic FM office, we've been enjoying this moment with these Technics EAH-T700 headphones. It sounds phenomenal. 

 

Time for a listen...

A photo posted by Classic FM (@classicfm) onNov 22, 2016 at 9:10am PST

Classic FM Apps

Get the Classic FM app for iPhone, iPad and Android - now with HD audio

TwoSet Violin

TwoSet Violin are launching a crowdfunded world tour

Get Lucky Music History

Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky' in every classical music style is both educational and impressive

Sunny Li Liszt Piano Workout

This pianist plays Liszt on four pianos and it's a full-on workout