One of the most loved symphonies in the world, the Eroica comes to life in this superb Beethoven double bill.
Beethoven’s Third Symphony suffered a notorious controversy over its
dedication. Beethoven originally dedicated it to Napoleon, but during
composition when the latter crowned himself Emperor, Beethoven was
greatly disappointed. In disgust, he allegedly tore Napoleon’s name off
the manuscript. The composer’s notion of heroism didn’t sit well with
the Frenchman’s notion of tyranny. When it came time to publish the
E-flat major symphony, Beethoven suggested, “Sinfonia eroica, composed to celebrate the memory of a great man” – without mentioning the Emperor.
Heroism itself is a concept that flows through the music in numerous
ways; sometimes solemn, other times joyful and ultimately triumphant.
It is telling that the symphony was played at the funerals of such
diverse figures as Felix Mendelssohn, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Franklin
Completing the double bill is Beethoven’s only violin concerto,
played by Grammy Award-winning Canadian violinist James Ehnes. A work
not well received in Beethoven’s lifetime, it was revived by Mendelssohn
to great acclaim and has since become one of the most important violin
concertos ever written.