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Classical Music

Music In The Making: Crowning Glory

For President’s Day, we look at the story behind Beethoven’s “Eroica,” and see what this symphony has to do with leadership.



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On this week’s episode, we’re celebrating President’s Day by listening to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, which started out its life dedicated to a very different type of leader: Initially, the composer planned to title the work “Bonaparte,” in honor of Napoleon. However, Beethoven became disenchanted when Bonaparte crowned himself emperor, even ripping the title page in his anger. Instead, the subtitle now reads “composed to celebrate the memory of a great man.”

Beethoven looks upon the coronation with disapproval

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony no. 3 in E-flat major, op. 55, “Eroica”
Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra; Larry Rachleff, conductor
Stude Concert Hall

This episode originally aired Sunday, February 19th, 2017. Catch Music in the Making every Sunday at 7:06 PM on Classical.