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
...
...
...
Trevor Cooper ...
Otto Fisher
Sarah Ford ...
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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The day that changed music forever

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Drama | Music

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Details

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Release Date:

4 October 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Eroica - I iroiki symfonia tou Beethoven  »

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Aspect Ratio:

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

Princess Lobkowitz: [speaking about the Eroica Symphony] Unusual, though, wasn't it?
Josef Haydn: Unusual? He's done something no composer has ever done. He's placed himself at the center of his work. He gives us a glimpse into his soul. I expect that's why it is so noisy. But it is something quite new. Quite new. The artist as hero. Everything is different from today.
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Soundtracks

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
(excerpt)
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Played by Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Conducted by John Eliot Gardiner
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User Reviews

 
Eroica! Brilliant!
16 September 2006 | by (Miami, FL) – See all my reviews

First I must clear up one thing. I have been a fanatic of Beethoven's music, life and words for nearly 40 years. I remember receiving a flimsy plastic 45 rpm-shaped record, which was timed at 33-1/3, in the mail advertising his music and the music of others. What I will not forget is hearing those first few bars. I will never ever forget that moment. Two crashing chords and straight into the first melody. It made a profound influence on the course for the rest of my life. I've since become a dilettante composer and enthusiastic champion of the music of this greatest of masters.

With that being said...I was brought into such a state of newfound discovery when I heard the Eroica again on this DVD. The Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique somehow has made an old friend sound brand new again. With the size of the noticeable orchestra being smaller than we are normally accustomed, and with the pronounced accentuation of the individual instruments, the sounds and the development of the themes were fresh.

I enjoyed almost every performance in this film. It doesn't matter whose I didn't like. It really makes no difference. The presence of Ian Hart, Tim Pigott-Smith, Fenella Woolgar, Frank Finlay, Leo Bill, Trevor Cooper, the beautiful Claire Skinner, and mysterious Lucy Akhurst and gosh, even Victoria Shalet and Joseph Morgan made the whole affair quite an enjoyable experience and transformed this into a true ensemble of players.

The effect of the cameras moving about was a stroke of genius. The camera swirled as the thoughts of the people present and listening swirled around the room.

Enough cannot be said about IAN HART who really brought this together. Those of who the character of Beethoven so well should be pleased with his take. Here we have none of the scowling Beethoven smirks which plagued his later years. Here we still have a youthful, but adamant figure struggling to make his way into the world of Viennese society. Hart has cast a Beethoven in his prime though quite immediately after his "Heilegenstadt Testament" period of great sadness. He is young and he still bounce back and get back to the music. One instance of this bouncing back was quite remarkably placed near the end of the movie.

To lovers of Beethoven, lovers of the Eroica, lovers of great music, lovers of historical dramas and fine period pieces, I recommend this film without reservation.


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