When you think of classical music and symphonies, Beethoven might be the first person that pops into your head. His symphonies continue to captivate audiences, transporting them to another world with their emotional depth and captivating melodies. Learn a little bit more about the composer's most popular symphonies.

4. Symphony No. 6 in F Major, Op. 68 "Pastoral"

Symphony No. 6, called "Pastoral Symphony, or Recollections of Country Life" by Beethoven himself, takes us on a beautiful journey. The five movements of the piece capture rural life's ambiance, from the birds chirping in the first movement to the raging storms in the fourth. Symphony No. 6 paints a vivid picture that perfectly depicts nature's beauty and takes us on a journey through the countryside. 

Symphony No. 6 in the movies: Beethoven's Sixth Symphony is prominently featured in Disney's 1940 Fantasia.  

3. Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

Symphony No. 7 is composed of four different movements, showcasing the composer's mastery of creating infectious and exhilarating rhythms. The first movement is energetic, followed by the haunting beauty of the second, finishing with a quick dance-like movement that exudes vitality. This symphony will leave audiences feeling awe-struck.

Symphony No. 7 in the movies: France (1982), Mr. Hollands Opus (1995), The Kings Speech (2010), X-Men: Apocalypse (2017)

 2. Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125:

Symphony No. 9 is a great example of Beethoven elevating the human experience through music. This piece is said to embody the human spirit and universal brotherhood. It is also one of the most broadly-recognized symphonies, featuring the iconic and triumphant "Ode to Joy." 

A favorite among filmmakers, music students, and classical music fans, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony offers high drama, soft melodies, and lots of action.

Symphony No. 9 in the movies:Dead Poets Society (1989), Cruel Intentions (1999), Die Hard (1988) and many others. 

The Des Moines Symphony will perform Ode to Joy at this year's Season Finale: (Re)Discover the Ode to Joy.

1. Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67

Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is best known for its iconic four opening notes. "Dun dun dun DUN" is the resounding note that even people unfamiliar with classical music know well. The first movement is renowned for its ominous and dramatic tone, while the symphony's finale is triumphant and leaves audiences feeling uplifted.

Symphony No.5 in the movies:Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002), The Breakfast Club (1985), The Peanuts Movie (2015) and many, many more

In total, Beethoven wrote nine symphonies. Pick your favorite for yourself when you listen to this Spotify playlist featuring all nine of them!