Symphony No. 3 (Beethoven)

Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, op 55, nicknamed " Eroica " was created in 1803 until the year 1804.

Musical work marking


Beethoven was a young man, an enthusiastic supporter of the French Revolution (1789-1799) and later times, an admirer of Napoleon, who used, among other things, the ideas of freedom of the revolution through legislation and wars across Europe. Napoleon was often compared, at least since his spectacular victories in northern Italy, the mid-nineties of republican wing intellectuals throughout Europe with the Greek Titan Prometheus, who stole fire to the gods in order to complete the imperfect human beings and to liberate. He was thus also as a hero of the Enlightenment. ( However, later, Beethoven's attitude changed towards Napoleon, after he had elevated himself to the emperor. This act aroused Beethoven's hatred of Napoleon, because he had betrayed the idea of ​​revolution, according to Beethoven. )

This line of thought presented Beethoven in 1802 allegorically encoded into his music for the ballet " The Creatures of Prometheus" musical is showing how stupid people through artistic education of the Titan Prometheus with the gods and muses on the ancient gods Mount Parnassus until their full attain humanity.

Used for the optimistic finale Beethoven a simple self-composed "Contra Dance" from the last carnival season, perhaps in order to emphasize that in his opinion the future is not the gods and kings belonged, but the emerging middle class.

In the for him personally not simple time ( deafness ) 1800 Beethoven sought musically and professionally for new ways, as he himself saw no prospects for its future. Due to similarities in his works So he planned a long time, emigrate from Vienna to Paris and devote as a presentation piece of his 3rd Symphony Napoleon: He called it Sinfonia grande, intitolata Bonaparte. Accordingly, he let himself in the foot facility and in many details of the symphony guided by the course of action of the Prometheus ballet, which one most clearly in mind recognizes that the final sound several variations on the Prometheus country dance, in addition to elements of the plot refer to the Symphony again.

Disgusted with Napoleon, who in 1804 was crowned emperor himself, he took, according to tradition, his childhood friend Ferdinand Riess, the dedication to Napoleon with the words "Is no different, like an ordinary man! Now, he will also take all human rights underfoot, indulge only his ambition; He is now higher, make like all others, become a tyrant! " back. In 1806 he titled his Symphony No. 3 now as "Symphony, composed to the memory of a great man to celebrate ." It was titled " Heroic Symphony", also known as the Eroica.

In his " Eroica " Beethoven had both borrowed from the French Revolution music used (especially in the second set ) as well as echoes of Bach's polyphony, which could be interpreted as a musical vision of a German Republican Society. The fact that Beethoven 's symphony was musically unchanged despite his disappointment at Napoleon's coronation as emperor, can be the most plausible interpretation of the fact that he continues to "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" clung to the betrayed by Napoleon ideals of the revolution and no longer for Germany now, but among other things, wanted to see realized in the fight against Napoleon.

In the summer of 1804 there was a private performance at Schloss Eisenberg, a country residence of Prince Lobkowicz, who held the exclusive right of performance for a few months, others followed in August 1804 and on January 3, 1805 at the Palais des princes as well as in the house of the banker Würth am Hohen Markt. The public premiere took place at the Theater an der Wien on April 7, 1805.


Allegro con brio

The first movement of the Eroica begins with a triad melody, which is prepared by a two-bar introduction. These two beats there are in each case on the downbeat of a measure. This " slogan " appears in the first sentence again and again at key points. So it is no usual introduction, as found in the 1st and 2nd symphony, or in practically all the Haydn symphonies, but it is so from the first note to the middle ( a sign of the new way, the Beethoven ago the composition mentioned ). Very remarkable is the fact that the sentence is written in odd ( 3/4) clock - usually was the first symphonic movement in straight tempo. The 3/4-time makes the first movement - despite all the dynamics, violence and emphasis on rhythmic - even dance. An example here is possibly Mozart also standing in E-flat major Symphony, K. 543, the first sentence is in 3/4-time. Great similarities can be found with the Anacréon overture by Cherubini from 1802. Tänzerische This is also in contrast to the expectations of many contemporaries in terms of a " Battle Symphony ", the Eroica is not. The first topic is never as expected a major issue, but a motivic idea, since it is composed of triads. The first bars of this idea are identical to the theme of the Intrada of Mozart's Singspiel Bastien und Bastienne KV 50 But as Beethoven Mozart's Singspiel is unlikely to have known, this coincidence is probably accidental. It should also be noticed that these motivic idea in a slightly different form occurs again in the final movement of Symphony No. 6 "Pastoral".

Means openwork this topic appear ( to syncope Accompaniment ) after that in other instruments (violins, flutes, clarinets) and at the end of the main clause, it returns to interesting instrumentation again ( Implementation): wood with sheet metal and low strings that accompany the rest of the instruments. The second theme appears in measure 45 and is very short ( one bar long, but offset ). It is ( similar to that in the 9th Symphony ) a reconciliation theme in the double dominant. In bar 63 the side movement begins in B flat major ( degree V = dominant) which introduces two new themes. The first is characterized by a cascade, the second a very urgent, first Argument raised by the woodwind theme (also in B- flat major ). The final section begins in measure 109, it brings a combination of the first two issues (main block ). The implementation (measure 152) operates at the beginning also with these two topics, but you dive soon the motto like " Tutti - strikes" again, but now no longer be made by the whole orchestra. Also, the cascading theme reemerges soon. From bar 248 the whole orchestra begins with syncope and the famous 45 sforzati, we reached another climax, which is also reminiscent of the 5th Symphony. In bar 284 a new theme that re-emerges not in the recapitulation, but only in the coda appears. About a Sekundakkord of B7 the horns begin with the main theme in E flat major (the famous "wrong" Horn Bet ), the recapitulation begins in E-flat 2 bars later, really. The coda begins in measure 561, and works primarily with the theme from the development. With the " Tutti - shock " of the orchestra 's longest head movement ends beethoven symphony shear ( clock 691, about 15 minutes 40 seconds in required by Beethoven rapid, but controversial original tempo ).

Marcia funebre ( Adagio assai )

The second movement of Beethoven's Eroica is a funeral march (it.: Marcia funebre ) in C minor and consists of three parts in the relatively slow pace Adagio. He refers to the common practice at the Dead honors in France since 1789.

At the very beginning start the violins with a plaintive first motive, they play on rolling bass; in measure 9, the theme is repeated in a comforting sound in the oboe. The second theme begins in measure 17 and ends in measure 27 From bar 16 is playing a C minor theme, the main role, which is always continued. Later, in clock 69 begins the second part of which is in turn C- shaped and of a Dursteht Tripelfugato. From bar 80 the second theme is further developed and modified until at bar 89 is followed by the coda, the fragmentary used the first motif and can finish it with the rolling bass at the beginning of the sentence. During the set, the audience hears some examples of human emotion. ( Blows ( minor) joy (C Major ) )

Scherzo ( Allegro vivace )

The Scherzo third movement of the symphony was a major innovation in the period in which the audience was expecting a Menuetto. The Scherzo is full of light and lilting tempo Allegro vivace. Everything flows and almost seamless with the other. Component is the initial achtundzwanzigtaktige staccato by the strings, which introduces the main theme of the movement. It follows a trio of horns up to the 75th cycle continues with the bustling Staccatobewegungen the string section. Up to 93 clock everything flowed pianissimo then, so the incessant and continuous feeling of tension and the wait was a surprise the listener. But now is suddenly a loud volume, and with him the whole orchestra played the main theme in E flat major one. From bar 115 elements of the broken -flat major triad are inserted into the Staccatogeschehen, between woodwind and strings, a motif is tossed back and forth in Sekundschritten. The overall picture is replaced by a trio of horns in measure 143, which in turn plays a motif from a Eb major triad. Thus, a separate counter- world is created to the previous trio; the orchestra must now contribute only short inserts.

Finale ( Allegro molto - Poco Andante - Presto)

The fourth set consists mainly of variations, whose main theme a motif from Beethoven's ballet The Creatures of Prometheus Springs. In preparation for the fourth movement of the symphony, the Eroica variations can be seen here.

The basic tempo is Allegro molto; the movement begins with a toccata-like pizzicato passage in the strings, which lasts eleven bars. Then the bass issue is presented twice, first in three-part, then in four -part harmony. In bar 59 is added a melodic counterpoint; the issue is finally played from bar 75 to a fugal and this in turn from bar 84 by the whole orchestra. Clock 107 passes a reconciliation to C minor one, from here the bass theme in both the original and mirrored is used in the overall shape always flowing with new ideas with one, the design form seems free, but is still going on the purpose of the topic, the counterpoint is greatly exhausted.

The pace slows down once on Poco Andante, in which the subject is distributed to all instruments and spreads chorale. It also follows a surprising move to A-flat major, and the subject is subsequently varied for the sixth time. With clock finally 431 E flat major begins the coda with semiquavers in the fast Presto to storming fanfare happy and phenomenal in the heroic key to land. Glorious finish sentences.