Eroica (2003)

A story about Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 55 more commonly known as Eroica.


I once had an argument with my English teacher in the first grade. We were told to classify some nouns (proper and common nouns) and put it under ‘feminine’, ‘masculine’, and ‘neutral.’ Beethoven was one of the names there and I classified it under ‘masculine.’ I was extremely confident in my answer, even thinking that none of my classmates knew that. One could only possibly imagine my outrage when whilst checking the answers, Beethoven was put under ‘neutral.’ I raised my hand, I normally let go of things, but I simply cannot let this one pass—there’s got to be some mistake there. ‘Beethoven was a composer. He is male!’ I argued further, ‘He was the one who made tatantantan…(imitating his famous 5th symphony)…’ ‘No, Beethoven is a name of a dog,’ my teacher countered. I cried.

The inhumanity.

Recordings featured in this audio sampler:

* Vivaldi: Concerto No. 1 in E Major for solo violin “La Primavera”, 1. Allegro
Janine Jansen

* Beethoven: Symphony No.9, 4. Presto- “O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!” - Allegro assai Ode to Joy
Herber von Karajan, Berliner Philharmoniker

* Mozart: Piano Concerto No.21 in C, K.467, 2. Andante
Friedrich Gulda, Claudio Abbado, Wiener Philharmoniker

* Beethoven: Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op.67, 1. Allegro con brio
Carlos Kleiber, Wiener Philharmoniker

* Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op.43
Vladimir Ashkenazy, London Symphony Orchestra, André Previn

* Verdi: Libiamo ne’lieti calici (Brindisi) from La Traviata
Rolando Villazón, Anna Netrebko, Helene Schneidermann, Herman Wallen, Salvatore Cordella, Paul Gay, Wiener Philharmoniker, Carlo Rizzi, Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor

* Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat major Op.73 -“Emperor”, 3. Rondo (Allegro)
Hélène Grimaud, Staatskapelle Dresden, Vladimir Jurowski

* Ravel: Bolero
Pierre Boulez, Berliner Philharmoniker

* Dvořák: Symphony No.9 in E minor, Op.95 “From the New World”, 4. Allegro con fuoco
Rafael Kubelik, Berliner Philharmoniker

* Bizet: L’amour est un oiseau rebelle (Havanaise) from Carmen
Claudio Abbado, Domingo, Berganza, London Symphony Orchestra

* Wagner: The Ride of the Valkyries from The Ring of the Nibelung
Vera Schlosser, Berit Lindholm, Brigitte Fassbaender, Helen Watts, Helga Dernesch, Vera Little, Claudia Hellmann, Marilyn Tyler, Wiener Philharmoniker, Georg Solti

* Puccini: O soave fanciulla from La Bohème
Luciano Pavarotti, Mirella Freni, Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan

* Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps, Revised version for Orchestra (published 1947), Part 2: The Sacrifice, 6. Sacrificial Dance (The Chosen One)