Friday, May 3, 2019

Heroic Night In Jones Hall


Once again the fetching Mrs. Sheralyn B and I go Saturday night to our home away from home in downtown Houston, Jones Hall, to hear our Grammy Award winning Houston Symphony Orchestra, led by our dynamic young director, Maestro Andres Orozco-Estrada, to hear Beethoven's great masterpiece-his Symphony #3 in E Flat Major, "Eroica" [Heroic].

This from the Houston Symphony Orchestra website on the concert program: "Heroic. Ferocious. Groundbreaking. Hear the symphony that changed it all as Andrés conducts Beethoven’s Eroica, a staggering musical vision too powerful to be contained. A monumental weekend also features the grand unveiling of Composer-in-Residence Jimmy López’ Violin Concerto, a stunning feast for the senses that combines light displays with musical luminescence to immerse you in the breathtaking beauty of the Northern Lights."

Ludwig Van Beethoven [1770-1827]
Beethoven was going to name the symphony in honor of Napoleon Bonaparte, thinking he was going to be a man of the people, but when he saw him to be just like other political tyrants, he got angry at Napoleon and scratched out his name and changed it to Heroica.

This from Encyclopedia Britannica web site: "... on December 2, 1804—Napoleon had himself named Emperor of France. According to his friend and student Ferdinand Ries (1784–1838), Beethoven greeted that news with fury: his hero had become a tyrant, and the composer would not dedicate a symphony to such a person. In disgust, the composer tore the title page from the symphony...He gave the symphony a new sub-title, Eroica, implying more of a general heroism than specific deeds."

I remember early in my daughter Ebony's classical piano lessons she learned a piece called "Beethoven's Theme".  That theme you will hear in his Eroica Symphony.  It was called Beethoven's theme because he loved it so much he used it in some of his other works.  Besides his 3rd Symphony, the theme shows up in his 7th contra dance; in his ballet, "the Creatures of Promethus"; and in his Variations on an Eroica theme.  Here is that theme by a young girl, who reminds me of when my little Ebony played it about 6 years old.

Beethoven's Eroica Theme:


Beethoven's Third Symphony is scored in Eb Major with 4 movements:  1. Allegro con brio; 2. Marcia Funebre [at 22:58 in the following video]; 3. Scherzo [at 39:38]; and Allegro Molto [at the 45:29 mark].  The Eroica theme that Beethoven loved will be in the final movement.

As usual, when Sheralyn and I go to a Houston Symphony Orchestra concert I like to give you some of what we will be hearing on Saturday night in Jones Hall.  Please turn up the volume put in full screen and enjoy Beethoven's Heroic Symphony.

L.V. Beethoven:  Symphony #3 in Eb Major, "Eroica":




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