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Friday, November 11, 2011

What I believe is the lesson behind Beethoven's 3rd Synphony

Dedication and premiere

Beethoven had originally conceived of dedicating the symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte. The biographer Maynard Solomon relates that Beethoven admired the ideals of the French Revolution, and Napoleon as their embodiment. In the autumn the composer began to have second thoughts about that dedication. It would have deprived him of a fee that he would receive if he instead dedicated the symphony to Prince Franz Joseph Maximillian Lobkowitz. Nevertheless, he still gave the work the title of Bonaparte.
According to Beethoven's pupil and assistant, Ferdinand Ries, when Napoleon proclaimed himself Emperor of the French in May 1804, Beethoven became disgusted and went to the table where the completed score lay. He took hold of the title-page and tore it up in rage. This is the account of the scene as told by Ries:
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 "Ludwig 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."[4]
There exists also the copy of the score made by a copyist, where the words Intitulata Bonaparte ('dedicated to Bonaparte') are scratched out, but four lines below that were later added in pencil the words Geschriben auf Bonaparte ('written in honor of Bonaparte'). Further, in August 1804, merely three months after the legendary tearing-up scene, Beethoven wrote to his publisher that "The title of the symphony is really Bonaparte." The final title that was applied to the work when it was first published in October, 1806, was Sinfonia Eroica...composta per festeggiare il sovvenire di un grand Uomo ("heroic symphony, composed to celebrate the memory of a great man").[5] In addition, Schindler tells us that upon hearing of the Emperor's death in Saint Helena in 1821, Beethoven proclaimed "I wrote the music for this sad event seventeen years ago" – referring to the Funeral March (second movement).
Beethoven wrote most of the symphony in late 1803 and completed it in early 1804. The symphony was premiered privately in summer 1804 in his patron Prince Lobkowitz's castle Eisenberg (Jezeri) in Bohemia. The first public performance was given in Vienna's Theater an der Wien on 7 April 1805 with the composer conducting. For that performance, the work's key was announced as "Dis", the German for D-sharp.[6]

Yes, Beethoven was a musical genious. After all, who other than Beethoven could have composed his greatest masterpiece, IMHO, the 9th Synphony, after he went completely deaf, but yet when it came to politics looks like to me, even he was taken in by Bonaparte.
This is why when I see some celebrity campaigning for or against anything or anyone--(Right now, Ohio is IMO suffering through one attack ad over and over . . .  by the once respected singer-Pat Boone, how or why I am suppose to believe that-that Californian knows as much or even more about Ohio, when all I have done is live my entire life here-is beyond me--the question should be--Why should I believe him?). I still question and question, until I feel comfortable with the issue or candidate.
This is also why when I finally take a stand on a candidate or issue and I meet a person who disagrees with me. The first question I ask is why. After all, maybe they know something that I do not. After all, I am faaaar from perfect. I maybe 50 years old, but there is still more that I have yet to learn, which is why I love reading a variety of books and watching documentaries so very much.