Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C Op. 21
When the 29-year-old Beethoven composed and published his First Symphony, many listened on, oblivious to how the composer would soon transform the symphonic genre. While the work was often grouped alongside the symphonies of Mozart and Haydn, critics also repeatedly used the word “masterpiece” in describing it. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 represents Beethoven at the height of his Classical prowess, but it’s also fitting that the symphony came at the dawn of a new century: all the symphonies Beethoven produced afterwards would revolutionize the symphonic genre.