The Eroica Symphony

18. 9. 19

October 24, 2019, at 7 pm, House of Culture of Ostrava

Jacques Offenbach
Grand Concerto for cello and orchestra in G major (Concerto Militaire)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 55 (Eroica)

Petr Nouzovský – cello
Gábor Takács-Nagy – conductor

The Eroica Symphony was first performed privately in early August 1804. Two possible performances followed, including one at the Lobkowitz Palace on January 23, 1805 (Maynard Solomon). We know from discovered writings of Prince Joseph Franz Lobkowitz, one of Ludwig van Beethoven’s patrons, that the first public performance was on April 7, 1805, at the Theater-an-der-Wien in Vienna, Austria. It is clear that the performance was not as well accepted or understood as the composer would have liked. “Even Beethoven’s pupil Ferdinand Ries was misled by the “false” horn entry halfway through the first movement and was reprimanded for saying that the player had “come in wrongly,” noted English pianist and musicologist Denis Matthew. American music critic and journalist Harold Schonberg said, “Musical Vienna was divided on the merits of the Eroica. Some called it Beethoven’s masterpiece. Others said that the work merely illustrated a striving for originality that did not come off.”
Nevertheless, it was clear that Ludwig had consciously planned to compose a work of unequaled breadth and scope. Three years before he wrote the Eroica, Beethoven had declared he was discontent with the quality of his compositions thus far and “Henceforth [he] shall take a new path.”