The centuries-old discussion about whether Beethoven’s symphonies are endowed with extra-musical meaning sparked a vehement dispute between heart-and-soul Romantics such as E.T.A. Hoffmann and Wagner and nonformalists such as Eduard Hanslick, Schoenberg and Theodor Adorno. But is this discussion still necessary? The truth, after all, surely lies somewhere in the middle. Is it not inherent in music, as Carl Czerny and others proposed, that some sort of story always lies behind it and that this worked as a source of momentum in Beethoven’s composition? A story, however, can also be a single image, a feeling, or a musical idea that during the act of composition develops into something directly evoking images. Whether there is an extra-musical element is not so much the point. More important is what it evokes in the mind of the conductor who interprets it, using his musical background, knowledge and personality. And also, the images and feelings it stirs in the listener!