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Beethoven Strikes back!
Beethoven Strikes back! After Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor of France in 1804, Beethoven, furious at the turn-coat tyrant, scratched out the dedication of his ground-breaking third symphony to Bonaparte and substituted the legend,"A heroic symphony dedicated to the memory of a great man". So the story goes, at least. But there is evidence that Beethoven continued to admire the little Emperor: in a letter to his publisher, late in 1804, he is still writing about his "Bonaparte symphony". The great slow movement, a funeral march, befits a man of whom Beethoven once declared he could have defeated on the field of battle if only the composer had been a military man. There are many theories about the dedication of the Symphony No.3 in E Flat Major,"Eroica", but as GMN artists, Christoph von Dohnanyi and the Philharmonia make clear, this is a work with a distinct life of its own rather than one celebrating the life of an individual. A preparation, perhaps, for the declaration of universal brotherhood that came six symphonies later with the universality of Beethoven's ninth symphony.

  Listen to Chrisoph von Donhanyi conducting the Philharmonia in a live performance of Beethoven's Symphony No.3 in E Flat Major,"Eroica"


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