On June 9, 1804, Ludwig van Beethoven and his pupil Ries assemble a group of musicians to give the first performance of his Third Symphony, 'Bonaparte', to his patron Prince Lobkowitz and ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Hanson ...
Wranitzky
...
...
...
...
Otto Fisher
...
Frau Fisher
...
Princess Marie Lobkowitz
Victoria Shalet ...
Kirstin
Celina Liesegang ...
Stella
Jacob Engelberg ...
Franz
...
Paul Dorfmueller
Ian Thompson ...
Albrecht Dorfmueller
...
Count Dietrichstein
...
Gerhardt
...
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Storyline

On June 9, 1804, Ludwig van Beethoven and his pupil Ries assemble a group of musicians to give the first performance of his Third Symphony, 'Bonaparte', to his patron Prince Lobkowitz and his guests, including hypercritical Count Dietrichstein, in Vienna. The piece provokes political arguments among players and audience as to whether Bonaparte is a tyrant, or, as Beethoven believes, a liberator. The composer is also rejected by his former love, the recently widowed Josephine von Deym, though the visiting elder statesman of composers Haydn pays him a strange compliment. Leaving the gathering, Beethoven confesses to Ries that he is losing his hearing and later he reads that Bonaparte has declared himself the French emperor. As a result he will lose all respect for Napoleon and will change the symphony's title to 'Eroica'. Written by don @ minifie-1

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The day that changed music forever

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Drama | Music

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Release Date:

4 October 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Eroica - I iroiki symfonia tou Beethoven  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The white muslin dress with yellow overdress worn by the farmhouse servant is the same costume Kate Winslet (Marianne Dashwood) wears during the picnic scene in Sense and Sensibility (1995), and Michelle Ryan wears during the scene in which Sir Thomas asks Maria if she wants to marry Mr. Rushworth in Mansfield Park (2007). See more »

Goofs

Beethoven's assistant was Ferdinand Ries, pronounced "Reese." The name was pronounced correctly in the film but incorrectly spelled "Reis" in the film credits. It was Ries himself who told the story of his incorrectly thinking the horn player came in early. See more »

Quotes

Ludwig van Beethoven: [Making introductions] Sir, my student - Reis. He's an idiot.
Josef Haydn: All students are idiots. It's traditional. **Note: Beethoven was a student of Haydns.**
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Soundtracks

Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major (Eroica)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Conducted by John Eliot Gardiner
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User Reviews

 
Beautifully filmed, well acted and wonderful music- pretty darn good if you ask me!
27 August 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

At 17, I love Beethoven's music, more his symphonic works than his concertos and sonatas, and this drama really helped me appreciate the extraordinary works of this fantastic composer. I have always considered Eroica one of his best works, from the rousing beginning, the haunting tragic slow movement depicting a funeral march, the charming third movement very like a dance, to the triumphant finale, it is a joy to the ears, and along with the Choral, is easily the best of Beethoven's symphonies. And the orchestra featured played it very nicely indeed. Eroica was just wonderful, I couldn't really fault it at all.

The drama looked absolutely exquisite, with the stunning scenery and locations, as well as the beautifully designed costumes. Any scene with Beethoven walking in the countryside was lovely to see, and I am glad the writers didn't miss that out, because Beethoven loved the countryside, and it was the inspiration for some of his more lyrical works like the Pastoral symphony.

The acting was of high calibre, with Ian Hart absolutely superb in the title role, making the composer a complex figure, quite temperamental, passionate about his work, and torn between the pain of his increasing deafness and love, yet also elegant and adamant. Everyone else was brilliant too, especially Claire Skinner and Tim Piggott-Smith gives a masterclass in understated acting, but other than the music, Hart's portrayal of Beethoven is what makes this superb drama so watchable, not to mention the intriguing story behind the work itself. The script wasn't so bad either.

All in all, absolutely fantastic, so well watching for a number of reasons, whether for the period detail, Hart's Beethoven, or for the fantastic music, that really does touch you with its emotions, joy, heroism and sorrow, all depicted beautifully in the work. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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