Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 - Eroica (2008)

Beethoven

Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Manze

The music presented here charts two careers, of a simple musical idea, from acorn to oak, and of its creator, from obscurity to daylight. First heard as the modest seventh of twelve ‘contredances’ (WoO 14), Beethoven set this gem of a melody in more resplendent surroundings in the finale of his first large-scale success in Vienna, the ballet The Creatures of Prometheus, Op.43 (1800-1). The following year, he used the theme and its bass line as the subject of Fifteen Variations and a Fugue for fortepiano, Op.35, now known as the ‘Eroica Variations’, before immortalizing them in the finale of his Third Symphony, arguably the greatest and most important symphony ever written. This progress neatly reflects the development of Beethoven’s career. In the late 1790s, the Viennese public danced to his music without caring or probably even knowing who the composer was. With Prometheus Beethoven stood in the half-light of the theatre’s wings, his name overshadowed by the star billing of the ballet’s choreographer and principal dancer, Salvatore Viganò. In the audience at the Burgtheater was Beethoven’s former mentor, Haydn, who two years previously had enjoyed a triumph with his Creation at the same venue. Their conversation afterwards went something
like this:

H.: It’s good.
B.: But it’s no Creation. H.: 
No, it’s not.

How Beethoven must have been tempted to knock the old man’s wig off! The following year was one of crisis for Beethoven, faced with inevitable deafness and plagued by the black dog. The so-called ‘Heiligenstadt Testament’ of 6 October, 1802, shows him contemplating suicide. This letter, addressed to his brothers but never sent and discovered posthumously, describes the moment Beethoven choose heroism over cowardice – ‘The only thing that held me back was my art.’ Soon he was talking of a new way: ‘I am not happy with my works so far. Henceforth I shall take a new path.’ It was with Eroica, composed during 1803-4, first performed privately in 1804 and publicly on 7 April, 1805, at the Theater an der Wien, that he presented his fully-formed genius and its immortal creation to the public’s – and posterity’s – gaze.

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Andrew Manze

Andrew Manze is “a violinist with extraordinary flair and improvisatory freedom” (BBC Music Magazine), “the first modern superstar of the baroque violin” (San Francisco Examiner).

As a player, he specializes in repertoire from 1610 to 1830; as a conductor, he is much in demand among both period- and modern-instrument orchestras around the world. He also teaches, edits music, contributes articles to numerous periodicals, and broadcasts regularly on radio and television. He is a presenter on BBC Radio’s new Early Music Show.

A Cambridge Classicist by training, Andrew Manze studied the violin with Simon Standage and Marie Leonhardt. He was Associate Director of The Academy of Ancient Music from 1996 to 2003, and succeeded Trevor Pinnock as Artistic Director of The English Concert in July of that year. He is also Artist-in-residence at the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. In his new role at The English Concert, Andrew will move into Classical repertoire, including Mozart’s violin concertos, orchestral works and reorchestrations of Handel’s oratorios, while continuing to perform baroque repertoire. 2003 saw his debut tour of the UK with The English Concert, a televized concert at the London Proms and a filmed reconstruction of Handel’s Water Music on the River Thames for the BBC. In their first prize-winning recording together, Manze led The English Concert in a dazzling Mozart program, including Eine kleine Nachtmusik (hmu 907280).

Andrew Manze is also active as a guest conductor in large-scale oratorio and symphonic repertoire, with symphony, chamber and period-instrument orchestras in Europe, the US and Australia. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and a Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music, London; his cadenzas to Mozart’s violin concertos were recently published by Breitkopf & Ha?rtel.

Manze records exclusively for harmonia mundi usa and has released an astonishing variety of CDs. Recordings made with the trio Romanesca (Biber, Schmelzer, Vivaldi), The Academy of Ancient Music (including Bach violin concertos, Geminiani and Handel concerti grossi), and as a soloist (Telemann, Tartini), have garnered many international prizes: the Gramophone, Edison and Cannes Classical Awards, the Premio Internazionale del Disco Antonio Vivaldi and the Diapason d’Or—each of them twice. Since 1984 his collaboration with Richard Egarr has been setting new standards. Their discography includes sonatas by Rebel and Bach (both awarded the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik) and Pandolfi’s complete Violin Sonatas (Gramophone Award, 2000). Their recording of the complete Violin Sonatas of Handel was nominated for a 2003 Grammy ® Award, and figured in the US Billboard ® Chart. Their previous release, Corelli’s Sonatas Op.5, has received unanimous rave reviews, was Gramophone’s Recording of the Month and won the 2003 Prix Caecilia. Their next release will be of Mozart sonatas.

Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1912, the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra (HSO) is one of Scandinavia’s leading orchestras, renowned for its performances of music from the Classical and Romantic periods, as well as interpretations of contemporary music. It regularly commissions music from leading contemporary composers.The HSO works on a regular basis with inter- nationally celebrated conductors and soloists who appreciate the 59 member orchestra’s professionalism, enthusiasm, and combination oftechnical precision with musical zeal. The modern and unconventional approach to musical leader- ship of Andrew Manze, HSO’s Principal Conductor since 2006, fits perfectly with the orchestra’s character and way of working.

Several of the HSO recordings have won critical acclaim. A recording of Franz Berwald symphonies (1995) was awarded a Diapason d ?Or and a Benjamin Britten recording (1994) was an Editor’s Choice in Gramphone magazine. The recording of Swedish Classical Favourites (1995) received both gold and platinum discs.

 

This recording has been made with a kind contri- bution from the Friends of the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra.

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Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 - Eroica (2008)

Beethoven

Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra

Digital Converters: Meitner DSD
Mastering Engineer: Brad Michel
Producer: Robina G. Young
Recording Engineer: Brad Michel
Recording location: Helsingborgs Konserthus, Helsingborg, Sweden
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64

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HMU907470: Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 - Eroica
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Tracks.
1.
Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 - Eroica - I. Allegro con brio
Beethoven
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Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 - Eroica - II. Marcia funebre, Adagio assai
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Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 - Eroica - III. Scherzo, Allegro vivace
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Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 - Eroica - IV. Finale, Allegro molto
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5.
12 Contretänze, WoO 14 - No. 1 in C Major
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12 Contretänze, WoO 14 - No. 2 in A Major
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12 Contretänze, WoO 14 - No. 3 in D Major
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12 Contretänze, WoO 14 - No. 4 in B-Flat Major
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12 Contretanze, WoO 14 - No. 5 in E-Flat Major
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12 Contretänze, WoO 14 - No. 6 in C Major
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12Contretänze, WoO 14 - No. 7 in E-Flat Major
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12 Contretänze, WoO 14 - No. 8 in C Major
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12 Contretänze, WoO 14 - No. 9 in A Major
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12 Contretänze, WoO 14 - No. 10 in C Major
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12 Contretänze, WoO 14 - No. 11 in D Major
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16.
12Contretänze, WoO 14 - No. 12 in E-Flat Major
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17.
The Creatures of Prometheus, Op 43 - Finale from the Ballet Music
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