Excerpt from '101 Masterpieces of Music and Their Composers' by Martin Bookspan
Even when it was new, [Beethoven's] Fifth caught the fancy of performers and listeners alike. Something about the onrushing drive, the compelling energy of the first movement converted even the anti Beethovenites. In its triumphant struggle to ultimate victory, its absolute logic at once massive and compact, its confident swagger and heroism, this symphony has served as a clarion call to victory over tyranny through the years. Surely there is a kind of divine coincidence in the fact that the rhythmic motive that is the heart of the entire symphony - three short beats and one long one - should also be the international Morse code symbol for the letter "V." During the years of the Second World War this symbolism was seized upon by the Allied powers and the opening notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony became the musical embodiment of the impending victory. Similarly, when the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra played a victory concert in Jerusalem to celebrate the unification of the city and the imposition of a cease fire following the lightning Six-Day Arab-Israeli War in June 1967, Beethoven' Fifth Symphony was the central work on the program.