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Encyclopedia > Symphony no. 3 (Beethoven)
Eroica Symphony Title Page
Eroica Symphony Title Page

The Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major (Op. 55) by Ludwig van Beethoven (known as the EroicaItalian for "Heroic") is a work sometimes cited as the beginning of musical Romanticism and the end of the Classical Era. Image File history File links Eroica_Beethoven_title. ... Image File history File links Eroica_Beethoven_title. ... Opus is a Latin word which means work (in the sense of a work of art). Some composers musical pieces are identified by opus numbers which generally run either in order of composition or in order of publication. ... 1820 portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler Beethoven redirects here. ... Allegory of Music on the Opéra Garnier Music is an art form that involves organized and audible sounds and silence. ... The era of Romantic music is defined as the period of European classical music that runs roughly from the early 1800s to the first decade of the 20th century, as well as music written according to the norms and styles of that period. ... The Classical period in Western music occurred from about 1730 to 1820, despite considerable overlap at both ends with preceding and following periods, as is true for all musical eras. ...


Dedication and Premiere

Beethoven originally dedicated it to Napoleon Bonaparte. Beethoven admired the ideals of the French Revolution, and Napoleon as their embodiment, but Beethoven was so disgusted when Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of the French in May 1804, that he went to the table where the completed score lay, took hold of the title-page and scratched the name Bonaparte out so violently that he created a hole in the paper (see picture). He later changed the title to Sinfonia eroica, composta per festeggiare il sovvenire d'un grand'uomo (Heroic symphony, composed to celebrate the memory of a great man). His assistant Ferdinand Ries tells the story in his biography of Beethoven, exaggerating it: Napoleon I Bonaparte, Emperor of the French, King of Italy, Mediator of the Swiss Confederation and Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a general of the French Revolution, the ruler of France as First Consul (Premier Consul) of the French Republic from... i heart kate young The French Revolution was a period of major political and social change in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to... Kings ruled in France from the Middle Ages to 1848. ... 1804 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Ferdinand Ries (1784–1838) was a Bonn-born pupil of Beethoven who published a collection of reminiscences of his teacher. ...

In writing this symphony Beethoven had been thinking of Buonaparte, but Buonaparte while he was First Consul. At that time Beethoven had the highest esteem for him and compared him to the greatest consuls of ancient Rome. Not only I, but many of Beethoven's closer friends, saw this symphony on his table, beautifully copied in manuscript, with the word "Buonaparte" inscribed at the very top of the title-page and "Luigi van Beethoven" at the very bottom. ...I was the first to tell him the news that Buonaparte had declared himself Emperor, whereupon he broke into a rage and exclaimed, "So he is no more than a common mortal! Now, too, he will tread under foot all the rights of man, indulge only his ambition; now he will think himself superior to all men, become a tyrant!" Beethoven went to the table, seized the top of the title-page, tore it in half and threw it on the floor. The page had to be re-copied and it was only now that the symphony received the title "Sinfonia eroica."[citation needed] A title used by Napoleon Bonaparte following his seizure of power in France. ...

It is also believed that "Eroica" was finally dedicated to Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, who later became Charles XIV of Sweden, after Beethoven was disappointed in Napoleon.

Beethoven wrote most of the symphony in late 1803 and completed it in early 1804. The symphony was premiered privately in summer 1804 in Count Lobkowitz's castle Eisenberg. The first public performance was given in Vienna's Theater an der Wien on April 7, 1805 with the composer conducting. 1803 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... 1804 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Eisenberg can refer to: places in Germany: Eisenberg, Thuringia, a town in the Saale-Holzland district, Thuringia. ... Vienna (German: Wien ) is the capital of Austria, and also one of the nine States of Austria. ... The Theater an der Wien is a historic theatre in Vienna. ... April 7 is the 97th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (98th in leap years). ... 1805 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...


The orchestration for the Third Symphony is as follows:

2 Flutes
2 Oboes
2 Clarinets in B-flat
2 Bassoons
3 Horns in E-flat, C
2 Trumpets in E-flat, C
1st, 2nd Violins
Double Basses

A woodwind instrument is a musical instrument in which sound is produced by blowing through a mouthpiece against an edge or by a vibrating reed, and in which the pitch is varied by opening or closing holes in the body of the instrument. ... The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. ... The oboe is a double reed musical instrument of the woodwind family. ... Two soprano clarinets: a Bâ™­ clarinet (left) and an A clarinet (right, with no mouthpiece). ... A Fox Products bassoon. ... Image of a trumpet. ... The horn is a brass instrument that consists of tubing wrapped into a coiled form. ... The trumpet is the highest brass instrument in register, above the horn, trombone, euphonium and tuba. ... Percussion instruments are played by being struck, shaken, rubbed or scraped. ... A timpanist in the United States Air Forces in Europe Band. ... A string instrument (or stringed instrument) is a musical instrument that produces sound by means of vibrating strings. ... The violin is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. ... The viola (in French, alto; in German Bratsche) is a string instrument played with a bow which serves as the middle voice of the violin family, between the upper lines played by the violin and the lower lines played by the cello and double bass. ... Alternate meaning: Cello web browser A cropped image to show the relative size of a cello to a human (Uncropped Version) The cello (also violoncello or cello) is a stringed instrument and part of the violin family. ... Side and front views of a modern double bass with a French bow. ...


The piece is in the standard four symphonic movements:

  1. Allegro con brio
  2. Marcia funebre: Adagio assai
  3. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
  4. Finale: Allegro molto

A typical performance lasts about 50 minutes. In the first movement, Beethoven indicates that the exposition is to be repeated. This repeat, generally omitted in performances before the late 1950s, is nowadays usually observed. In musical terminology, tempo (Italian for time) is the speed or pace of a given piece. ... In musical terminology, tempo (Italian for time) is the speed or pace of a given piece. ... In musical terminology, tempo (Italian for time) is the speed or pace of a given piece. ... In musical terminology, tempo (Italian for time) is the speed or pace of a given piece. ...

Technical analysis of the first movement: Allegro con brio

 This technical analysis may contain original research or unverified claims.
Please help Wikipedia by adding references. See the talk page for details.

This movement is in a modified sonata form, so dividing it into three parts (exposition, development, recapitulation) is misleading. The 'development' is twice as large as the exposition, and the 'recapitulation' includes a similarly large coda. It can better be described as having five segments of roughly equal size: Image File history File links Circle-question. ... Sonata form is a musical form that has been used widely since the early Classical period. ...

Look up exposition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Musical development is the transformation and restatement of initial material, often contrasted with musical variation, with which it may be difficult to distinguish as a general process. ... Recapitulation is the term used by Irenaeus to describe the manner in which God interacts with the world towards the final goal in space and time of mans salvation and redemption. ... Look up coda in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


The exposition runs as follows:

  • Introduction: 1-2

The Eroica is the first of Beethoven’s symphonies to start without a slow introduction. Instead, there are two hammerstroke chords. Such a dramatic beginning is not unusual for the period—Mozart used similar gambits—but what is notable is that they are not thematic; they foreshadow what is to come without ever actually recurring. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756 – December 5, 1791) was one of the most significant and influential of all composers of Western classical music. ...

  • First subject area: 3-45

Bars 3-6 establish a firm metre, but as one only chord (E-flat) has been stated, the tonality has still not been confirmed. The opening theme is stated in the cello, but it consists only of a broken chord rocking around the note of E-flat, which falls on the strong beat of each bar. It is at once a theme and an anti-theme. Much more memorable is the rhythmic drive of this theme. Beethoven, however, questions this rhythmic drive by slurring the E-flat of bar 6 to the following D. Tonality is a system of writing music according to certain hierarchical pitch relationships around a key center or tonic. ... The violoncello, almost always abbreviated to cello, or cello (the c is pronounced as the ch in cheese), is a bowed stringed instrument, the lowest-sounding member of the violin family. ... A slur is a symbol in Western musical notation indicating that the notes it embraces are to be played without separation. ...

In bar 7, the cello and bass move down to C-sharp. This would normally imply a move towards the keys of IV (A-flat) or II (F), and as such would be interpreted as a D-flat, not C-sharp. In its present context, however, it serves as a springboard back to D, and as such is a C-sharp. This "upward drive" from C-sharp to D is mirrored in the first violins, which move from G to A-flat. The parallel fifths between the two outer parts are avoided by the syncopation of the first violin. The harmony in bars 7-11 is referred to by Tovey as a "cloud", which resolves in "sunshine" . This "cloud" is a weakening of the tonic, which in fact has not yet been confirmed; the first dominant chord does not appear until bar 13. Harmony is the result of polyphony (more than one note being played simultaneously). ... The tonic is the first note of a musical scale, and in the tonal method of music composition it is extremely important. ... In music, the dominant is the fifth degree of the scale. ... Typical fingering for a second inversion C major chord on a guitar. ...

Just as the tonic is struggling to assert itself, so is the metre. The syncopation of the first violin in bar 7 is a major disrupting force in its own right. In the bass and cello, the D in bar 10 is not held on as a dotted minim, as was the first violin G in bar 9. Instead, the last beat is detached, and slurred over to the following bar, a process which is immediately repeated in the first violin and many times afterwards, calling into doubt the position of the bar lines. In music, syncopation is the stressing of a normally unstressed beat in a bar or the failure to sound a tone on an accented beat. ...

Both tonic and metre become clear again with a reprise of the main theme in bars 15-18, although the piano dynamic makes the moment something of an anti-climax. Neither tonic nor metre can hold fort, however.

The first upward drive, which Schenker refers to as "the initial breath of the movement," is immediately mirrored on a smaller scale by prominent upward steps of a semitone in the first violin (b.18-19 and 22-23) and flute (b.21-22). At the same time, the upwards drive is being continued on a deeper level, with a rise in the treble from Eb2 to Eb3, finishing on the high Eb in bar 37. Heinrich Schenker Heinrich Schenker (June 19, 1868 - January 13, 1935) was a music theorist, best known for his approach to musical analysis, now usually called Schenkerian analysis. ...

The first subject area within itself contains a movement from I to V to I. Bars 1-22 are in the tonic, 23-36 the dominant, and 37-45 the tonic again. The effortless movement into the new key via the chord of the augmented sixth (b.22), and the sharp contrast of melodic material give the passage from 23-36 the appearance of a second subject group on first listening. In bar 25, just after the tonic has given way to the dominant, so too the metre crumbles, the sforzandos of bars 25-34 creating multiple bars of hemiola (in 2/4), interspersed with single beats, and finishing with three bars of 3/4 which cross the bar lines (b.32-35). In modern musical parlance, a hemiola is a metrical pattern in which two bars in triple time (3/2 or 3/4 for example) are articulated as if they were three bars in duple time (2/2 or 2/4). ...

Bar 37 sees the return of both the tonic and the "correct" metre, with a fortissimo tutti return of the main theme. Despite the triumphant scoring, the tonic still cannot hold its place, but the alteration of the flute and oboe parts in bars 38-39 looks forward to the eventual mutation of the main theme that will allow the tonic to hold strong in the recapitulation. The A-flat chord in bar 43 avoids what would have been a hidden false relation between the E-flat (bass) of b.42 and the E-natural (treble) of b.44; and the G (treble) of b.42 and the G-flat (bass) of b.44. The interpolation of this A-flat chord and the syncopation of the first violin to avoid parallel fifths in bar 9 are important. They both uphold correct musical grammar and syntax; without them, there would be what would have been deemed unacceptable "errors." They uphold musical reason. Yet both of them interrupt the metrical flow, and occur at a moment of harmonic "clouding." They are a microcosm of the main theme of this movement - upholding reason yet emphasising its limits. In music, syncopation is the stressing of a normally unstressed beat in a bar or the failure to sound a tone on an accented beat. ...

In bar 44, an augmented sixth chord again leads into the second subject area. This is the same chord that led us into the dominant area in bar 22, meaning that any well-trained listener who knows the story of Peter and the Wolf, but not of the Eroica, may well have suspicions on first listening as to whether or not this really is the move to the second subject area. Peter and the Wolf is a composition by Sergei Prokofiev written in 1936 after his return to the Soviet Union. ...

  • Second subject area: 45-147

The second subject area is massive – over twice the length of the first subject area, but lends itself well to being subdivided for analytical purposes. This is due to the sheer amount and variety of material. One can see from a cursory look at Schenker’s hectic foreground and middleground graphs of the second subject area, however, that this variety seems to be imposed from without, rather than welling from within. Philip Downs is correct to state that "the creating of a second group of similarly enormous proportions and differences by means of an organic process is not accomplished until the Ninth Symphony." The Symphony No. ...

We can group the material of the second subject group together as follows:

  • 45-56
  • 57-64
  • 65-83
  • 83-108
  • 109-123
  • 123-131
  • 132-147

As the second subject is repeated almost verbatim in the tonic key in the recapitulation, an in depth analysis of every section would be beyond the scope of this essay. There are, however, some especially important features, which shall be covered.

The first twelve bars (45-56) of the second subject reference are (to use Tovey’s distinction) on F, and move to Bb. A clear parallel can be drawn with bars 18-23, which moves from Eb to Bb. Whereas 18-23 is moving in the dominant direction, 45-56 is moving in the subdominant direction; whereas 18-23 emphasises the rising semitone, 45-56 emphasises the falling semitone; whereas 18-23 emphasises the upbeat and first beat of each bar, 45-56 emphasises the middle beat, this emphasis reinforced with sforzandos; 18-23 ends with an augmented sixth, 45-56 is introduced by one. These two pseudo-modulatory passages are dialectically opposed. Yet they both finish in the same place (Bb major); they both destabilise the metre; they use similar sequences; and the scoring is almost identical. Furthermore, 18-23 leads in to what at first seems like the second subject area; 45-56 introduces what really is the second subject area. In music, dynamics refers to the volume or loudness of the sound or note, in particular to the range from soft (quiet) to loud. ...

Bars 57-64 contain four bars of thematic material (57-60), which are repeated in variation (61-64). A major feature of these eight bars is the contrary motion between the outer parts.

Bars 65-83 are important due to the introduction of a rhythmic figure of new intensity.

Bars 83-108 contain a rapid destabilisation of the home key (here the dominant), a concept carried over from the first subject area.

Bars 109-123 contain a stable key, but the metre is again disrupted; this time the second beat of the bar is emphasised by sforzando chords in every bar except 117-118.

Bars 123-131 are the climax of both the second subject area, and the exposition as a whole. Here, both the key and metre are completely destroyed, culminating in the six sforzando chords in bars 128-131. These striking chords both look back to the opening of the movement, and signal the close of the exposition (A. Peter Brown calls the material in bars 132-147 closing gestures ).

  • Codetta: 148-154

The codetta is little more than a transitional passage linking the end of the second subject group with the repeat/development.


The development can be split up into four sections as follows.

It is worth noting that if the exposition repeat is not played, the development is almost 100 bars (two thirds) longer than the exposition. Various commentators have drawn a parallel between the four part structure of the development and the Hegelian dialectic, stating that the first two sections form a thesis and antithesis; the third and fourth the synthesis. This interpretation, however, is contentious. Broadly speaking, a dialectic (Greek: διαλεκτική) is an exchange of propositions (theses) and counter-propositions (antitheses) resulting in a disagreement. ...

  • Section 1: 154-220

The first section of the development begins with a section that looks forward to the much-misunderstood ending of the development (cf 154-160 and 378-395). Bars 154-160 take us into the principal key of the development (C major/minor), 378-395 into the tonic key of the recapitulation. By closely linking the beginning and the end of the development, Beethoven is keeping all the disunified parts of the development within one clearly demarcated whole. One could even look at this idea as a foreshadowing of Ligeti’s metaphor of ‘objects in a draw.’

In bars 166-177, the rhythmic pattern that caused metrical disruption in bars 45-56 reoccurs with similar scoring, and again leading from dominant to principal key (here, G to Cm).

At bar 178, a sequential development of the opening ‘theme’ begins. This is the first time in the movement where the whole harmony is moved up by a semitone, but it shall not be the last. Bars 178-181 are in Cm; 181-184 in C#m, and 184-189 in Dm. This sequence with the rising semitone is important for several reasons. Firstly, it builds on the rising semitone idea of the exposition. Secondly, it is flailing rapidly from the subdominant area to the dominant area and back, missing all the keys in between. This idea shall become much more obvious in the secondary development. Lastly, and most importantly, it doesn’t make sense. It sounds ‘right’ to the modern ear, if such an empirically vague idea is allowed to come into the discussion. It is one of the most exhilarating passages of the movement. It takes the music from where it was to where it is going. Yet in the common practice harmony of the early nineteenth century, it does not make sense; it is illogical. A semitone (also known in the USA as a half step) is a musical interval. ...

Bars 186-193 involve the incorporation of ideas from both the first and second subject groups. The remainder of the first section utilizes techniques already used in the exposition to destabilize the metre. Again, an augmented sixth chord resolving to the dominant is used at a point of structural articulation (219). Philip Downs tells us that ‘the peculiar force of the progression lies in the way it appears to change the harmonic flow very suddenly, giving the effect of the sleight of hand that brings the rabbit out of the hat.’

  • Section 2: 220-284

The second section, which develops only material that weakened the metre in the exposition, starts in a very similar manner to the first; the opening sixteen bars are almost identical. As there is no further development here, one could question why Beethoven chose to insert this section. After the loud ending to the first section, these sixteen bars are certainly an anti-climax. Furthermore, they are a quite backdrop that provides a springboard for what shall be the real climax of the development. In this way, these sixteen bars are an integral part of the formal structure. But they are somewhat static. They come in a constantly changing and forward directed development; yet we have already heard them.

The next fourteen bars (236-250) use the same rhythmic figure found in the preceding sixteen bars, combined with a fugato development. For the use of the word in psychology see fugue state In music, a fugue is a type of piece written in counterpoint for several independent musical voices. ...

The climax of the development begins with the forte chords in bar 252. Here the metre has long been left behind, and the harmonic instability has reached a peak. If one were to allow analysis to descend into descriptive adjectives and metaphors, the section from 252-283 could be called the culmination of the battle, in which the metre, tonic and main theme have been struggling to assert themselves. The listener expects the music to either collapse and die; or for the metre, tonic and theme to triumphantly and heroically assert themselves. In music, dynamics refers to the volume or loudness of the sound or note, in particular to the range from soft (quiet) to loud. ...

Instead, we get the infamous ‘new theme’ in E minor (oboe, 284-291).

  • Section 3: 284-337

This is the start of the third section. One must ask, however, whether this is really a ‘new theme’ at all. Research into the Beethoven sketchbooks has shown that the melody in the second violin and cello was composed before the oboe melody; the oboe melody was written as counterpoint. If the compare the second violin / cello melody is compared with the opening theme, a striking resemblance can be found. This theme is not new at all – it is clearly derived from the opening. In music, counterpoint is a texture involving the simultaneous sounding of separate melodies or lines against each other, as in polyphony. ...

This has major implications on the ‘battle’ of the metre, tonic and theme to establish themselves. The metre is secure; yet the emphasis in bars 294 and 298 falls on the second beat. There is a secure key; yet it is obscured by chromatic coloration, and it is the most distant key from the tonic in the whole movement. The theme has established itself in variation, yet for nearly two centuries, even some of the most revered scholars have called the oboe part the theme, and paid little heed to the second violin and cello. The battle has been both won and lost.

The E-minor episode is repeated in A-minor, before the main key of the development (C) is reached at bar 300, and the opening theme returns in a familiar form, before being developed sequentially. Eventually, the E-minor episode is repeated in Eb-minor (323-335).

  • Section 4: 338-397

The fourth and final section of the development starts on bar 338. Here, the opening theme is presented in a new form; one which will finally allow it to escape its tonal instability. Ironically, it is the ‘escape’ from its total dependence on the tonic note that allows the theme to gain tonal stability. Whereas before, the theme stagnated on E-flat, leading to chromatic harmony to regain forward motion; here the theme finishes on the dominant note – a feature that will finally allow it to return to the tonic, with a sense not of stagnation, but of closure and completion. Concurrently, the bass is moving in duple metre, yet it fits in perfectly with the theme in triple metre. And the harmonic progression is moving towards the tonic. This is the start of the resolution of the tensions involving metre, tonic and theme.

In bars 366-370, the block forte chords that previously disrupted the metre, occur again, but this time remain firmly in 3/4. The tension that is no longer there is reflected in the move to piano dynamics in bar 370 and pianissimo in bar 378.

In bars 394-395, the horn entry provides what is one of the most misunderstood moments in all of symphonic history. The opening of the main theme is played in the tonic, but over dominant harmony. This is not so much a culmination of the tonic-dominant tension, but a reminder. After the fourth section of the development settled so many of the previous tensions, Beethoven reminds the listener that this is still a movement in ‘conventional’ sonata form, and that the recapitulation has a purpose. Sonata (From Latin and Italian sonare, to sound), in music, literally means a piece played as opposed to cantata (Latin and Italian cantare, to sing), a piece sung. ...


The coda has been included as part of the recapitulation, because, as shall be shown, it is still fulfilling a recapitulatory function.The recapitulation runs as follows:

  • First subject area: 398-448

The recapitulation starts with the main theme with original scoring, and, as in the exposition, falls down to C# (b.402), but resolves in a different direction. This is one Tovey has called ‘one of the most astonishing and subtle dramatic strokes in all music’ . Unlike in the exposition, the C# is here treated as a D-flat, the harmony moving onto the dominant seventh of the supertonic.

  • Incorporating secondary development: 408-429

Although the music appears to be moving to the closely related key of F minor, an A natural appear, and a secondary development starting in F major appears in bars 408-429. What has happened with this modulation is that the music has moved from the tonic to the dominant area, via the subdominant area. The music then moves abruptly from F major to D-flat major (the subdominant of the subdominant), then resolves in a conventional manner via the subdominant to the tonic. In music, the subdominant is the technical name for the fourth tonal degree of the diatonic scale. ...

  • Second subject area in tonic: 448- 550

The recapitulation resumes in bar 430 with the opening theme in its modified form. In bars 448-550, the second subject area is repeated in the tonic, with exceptionally few modifications, bar the small orchestration changes forced by the change of key and register.

  • Coda: 551-672

The coda begins by looking back to some of the core tonal centres of the development and recapitulation: Eb, Db and C. In bar 580, the ‘new theme’ is repeated in F, before finally in E-flat minor (with chromaticism suggesting E-flat major – b.389). The tension of this theme being in the remote E minor has finally resolved. The tension between tonic major and tonic minor, however, will have to wait until the Marcia funebre for its final resolution. The coda finishes with a giant composed out perfect cadence, which is disrupted in bar 673, just as in bar 15, with a sudden piano. Finally, just as the development was ‘sandwiched’ by the same material to make its form clear, so is the movement as a whole, the final three chords (690-692) matching the opening chords. Look up coda in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Critical reception

The work is a milestone in the history of the classical symphony for a number of reasons. The piece is about twice as long as symphonies by Haydn or Mozart - the first movement alone is almost as long as many Classical symphonies. The work covers more emotional ground than earlier works had, and is often cited as the beginning of the Romantic period in music.[citation needed] The second movement, in particular, displays a great range of emotion, from the misery of the main funeral march theme, to the relative solace of happier, major key episodes.[original research?] The finale of the symphony shows a similar range[original research?], and is given an importance in the overall scheme which was virtually unheard of previously[citation needed] - whereas in earlier symphonies, the finale was a quick and breezy finishing off, here it is a lengthy set of variations and fugue on a theme Beethoven had originally written for his ballet music The Creatures of Prometheus. (Franz) Joseph Haydn (in German, Josef; he never used the Franz) (March 31, 1732 – May 31, 1809) was a leading composer of the classical period. ... The Classical period in Western music occurred from about 1730 through 1820, despite considerable overlap at both ends with preceding and following periods, as is true for all musical eras. ... A funeral march is a march composed, usually in a minor key, in in a slow simple duple metre imitating the solemn pace of a funeral procession. ... In music, variation is a formal technique where material is altered during repetition; reiteration with changes. ... In music, a fugue (IPA: ) is a type of contrapuntal composition. ...

Music critic J. W. N. Sullivan writes[citation needed] that the first movement is an expression of Beethoven's courage in confronting his deafness, the second, slow and dirgelike, depicting the overwhelming despair he felt, the third, the scherzo, an "indomitable uprising of creative energy" and the fourth an exuberant outpouring of creative energy. John William Navin Sullivan (1886-1937), was a popular science writer and literary journalist, and the author of a study of Beethoven. ...


In the first movement, the solo horn enters with the main theme four measures before the "real" recapitulation. Beethoven's disciple Ferdinand Ries recounted:[citation needed] Ferdinand Ries (1784–1838) was a Bonn-born pupil of Beethoven who published a collection of reminiscences of his teacher. ...

"The first rehearsal of the symphony was terrible, but the hornist did in fact come in on cue. I was standing next to Beethoven and, believing that he had made a wrong entrance, I said, 'That damned hornist! Can't he count? It sounds frightfully wrong.' I believe I was in danger of getting my ears boxed. Beethoven did not forgive me for a long time."

Modern usage

  • The second movement was used as a funeral dirge during the memorial service following the "Munich massacre" terrorist attacks during the 1972 Summer Olympics.[citation needed]
  • Richard Strauss's mourning music Metamorphosen is based on the theme of the funeral march from the Eroica, and combines harmonically distorted variants of its main motifs. At the very end the opening bars of the funeral march are quoted literally in the bass.
  • The teaser for the Space: Above and Beyond episode "The Angriest Angel", in which McQueen prepares for his upcoming duel with Chiggy von Richtofen, is set to the second movement (Marcia funebre, Adagio assai) of Beethoven's Symphony No. 3.

This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882–April 12, 1945), 32nd President of the United States, the longest-serving holder of the office and the only man to be elected President more than twice, was one of the central figures of 20th century history. ... Bruno Walter (September 15, 1876 - February 17, 1962) was a German-born conductor and composer. ... Arturo Toscanini listening to playbacks at RCA Victor (BMG Music) Arturo Toscanini (March 25, 1867 – January 16, 1957) was an Italian musician. ... This article or section seems to contain too many quotations for an encyclopedia entry. ... For other persons named Thomas Mann, see Thomas Mann (disambiguation). ... The Magic Mountain book cover The Magic Mountain (Der Zauberberg) is a novel by Thomas Mann, first published in November 1924. ... One of the Black September terrorists on the balcony of the Israeli team quarters at the Olympic village The Munich massacre occurred during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage by the Palestinian organization Black September, a militant group... The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, were held in Munich, West Germany, from 26 August to 11 September 1972. ... Metamorphosen is a composition for 23 solo strings by Richard Strauss. ... A cold open (also referred to as a teaser) in a television program or movie is the technique of jumping directly into a story at the beginning or opening of the show, before the title sequence or opening credits are shown. ... Space: Above and Beyond was a short-lived 1990s American science fiction television show, created and written by Glen Morgan and James Wong. ... The Angriest Angel is the sixteenth episode in the first season of Space: Above and Beyond, and the second of two parts, following Never No More. It originally aired in North America on 1996-02-11. ...


External links

  • Eroica website from SF Symphony's 'Keeping Score' with Analysis, Background and Commentary by MTT (needs Flash).
  • BBC 'Eroica' site
  • Program notes for the San Francisco Symphony (Ries anecdote)
  • Complete Eroica Discography
  • A site about Eroica.
  • Full Score of Beethoven's Third Symphony.
  • Complete performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra.



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