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Friday, 9 January 2015

Eroica Symphony

Beethoven's 3rd Symphony was originally called Bonaparte as tribute to Napoleon, the First Consul. When Napoleon proclaimed himself Emperor in 1804, the disillusioned Beethoven tore up the pages of his score in a rage, stamped on it and changed it to Eroica (meaning heroic).

The first public performance was on April 7, 1805 in the Theater-an-der-Wien, Vienna. Innovative in length and size of orchestra. it was difficult for the audience to understand the symphony. Many critics criticized the first movement for its dissonant chords.

Beethoven's title page shows his erasure of dedication of the work to Napoleon.

The first symphony to be inspired by non-musical ideas (as opposed to subjecting musical material to former symphonic treatment.)  It was Beethoven's own favourite among all his symphonies.

A radical departure from anything written up until that time, Beethoven's Eroica Symphony marked the beginning of the Romantic period, in which the formality of the Classical period is replaced by subjectivity.

When informed of the death of Napoleon on May 5, 1821, Beethoven said, "I wrote the music for this sad event seventeen years ago", referring to the funereal second movement.

Serge Koussevitzky performed the second movement to mourn the death of the US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1945.

In 1972, the Munich Philharmonic under Rudolf Kempe played the second movement at the funeral of the eleven Israeli athletes killed in the Munich massacre that occurred at the 1972 Summer Olympics.

In the film Ocean's Twelve, the Eroica is played during the attempted Amsterdam robbery.

This was voted the greatest symphony of all time by 151 of the world's top conductors . Five of Beethoven's works made the to 20 in the poll carried out by BBC Music Magazine, with his final complete symphony No 9 in second place.

Source Wikipedia

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