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Thread: Eroica

  1. #1
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Eroica

    Last year, I decided to introduce to my Yr 9 class a unit on Beethoven's superlative 3rd Symphony and, having just come into possession of the BBC/Opus Arte film Eroica, realised it would be a good way of putting the work into it's historical context. I further decided it would be worth keeping in the syllabus.

    Re-watching it this year and it has lost none of its great appeal to me, it still seems fresh (and I'm still looking forward to being able to view it at least once a year!)

    The acting is superb, particularly the ways the various actors are seen reacting emotionally to the music. Given how important this was to Beethoven, it really lifts it. Ian Hart portrays an excellent Beethoven and that fact that he was facially very similar to many of the portraits of Ludwig at that time again lifts the presentation that much more.

    Although there were a few dramatic licences taken with the appearances of some characters, and Beethoven's treatment of the title page upon hearing that Napolean had declared himself Emporer, historically it mostly appears quite accurate in the context of the first "private" performance of this marvellous work.

    The performance itself by the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique is also superb, aided by the period instruments giving another sort of "freshness" to it all.

    I love this film and cannot recommend it enough to anyone who may not have seen it yet.
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  2. #2
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    Matt - how wonderful! The Erocia is a product of a mind so amazing as to be as unfathomable as the universe itself. I know the recording you speak of, OReR, I own it. In fact I think Anima Eterna's Beethoven cycle is worth a listen to, too. Also on period instruments, of course. You've prompted me to play this amazing work (which I've had the honour of playing at least twice - viola when I was a professional orchestral musician, which I'm not any longer, just a bad (wicked?) organist).
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

  3. #3
    Commodore con Forza Soubasse's Avatar
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    Well one of the (admittedly few) regrets I have about being an organist (apart from being one here) is not being able to take part in such splendid orchestral performances as the 3rd (rarely compensated for by the occasional Saint-Saens/Resphighi/Strauss/Holst, etc performances).

    Check out the film though if you can find it, it's marvellous!
    Music is made to transform the states of the soul, for an hour or an instant (J. Alain)

  4. #4
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    that film certainly rings a very loud bell ... I have an idea I've watched at least a good part of it ...
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

  5. #5
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
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    As to your obviously distaste with being organist where you are ... maybe you should keep your eye open for the position of Cathedral organist at the Anglican Cathedral in Sydney. Apart from the vile Archbishop (who needs to break off and form his own religious movement - oh, yeah, I forgot! there is one already, it's called "happy clappy fundamentalism") the job comes with one of the most beautiful organs in the country, it's also the little brother of the monster next door (see my avatar) but you knew this, of course.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

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