By The Suburban Times
January 18th, 2020
Symphony Tacoma is marking the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth by performing three of his works in its first two concerts of 2020, beginning with his Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” on Saturday, February 22, 2020. The orchestra will perform Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus and Fantasy for Piano, Chorus & Orchestra “Choral Fantasy” at the March 21 concert.
Eroica, which means “heroic,” is one of Beethoven’s most celebrated and ambitious works. Originally, Beethoven had intended to dedicate this work to Napoleon, one of his personal heroes who he admired for his efforts to elevate the status of the working classes. However, when Napoleon declared himself emperor in 1804, Beethoven denounced the act, eventually publishing the work “to celebrate the memory of a great man.”
More substantial, dramatic and emotionally impactful than typical symphonies of its time, Eroica represents a shift from the Classical period to the Romantic era. Beethoven challenged listeners to go beyond the pleasant, light music of the status quo, elevating the symphony into a work of art in its own right. At the time of Eroica’s composition, Beethoven was just coming to grips with his hearing loss. His willingness to take risks and blaze a new path is evident in both his music and in the boldness with which he battled his deafness.