Beethoven – Symphony No.3 “Eroica” + Presentation (reference recording : Pierre Monteux)


With a professional career spanning more than seventy years, Pierre Monteux combines longevity with prestige. Considered as the creator of a “French” aesthetic of conducting, his notoriety has spread far beyond the French borders. Internationally renowned chef, he has nevertheless spent most of his career in the United States. Although the two first Symphonies are still under the Haydnian style, ‘’the new way’’ advocated by Beethoven starts with the ‘Eroica’ Symphony (1803-04), which was written to celebrate the French Revolution, Beethoven wished to pay a tribute to its glory through Bonaparte, the triumphant leader of obscurantism and tyranny. He even thought that he shared a common destiny with him, his coronation broke the composer’s hope, who decided to change the original title. Then the ‘’Bonaparte Symphony’’ became the ‘’Heroic Symphony composed to celebrate the memory of a great man’’. The Romantics interpreted the Hero as a man who lives a conflict with his environment because of his destiny. The initial Allegro, an imposing development of a musical unit based on a major triad, is a typical case of the Beethovenian musical technic? Dramatic and moving, the Marcia funebre is an emotive plea for pacifism. According to Igor Markevich, the final Variations are ‘’to the Marcia funèbre what resurrection is to death’’. END