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
...
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

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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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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

Reis: [timidly, afraid of Beethoven's rage] Sir...
Ludwig van Beethoven: [exploding] Ries, you interfering insect! What is it?
Reis: Herr Haydn is here, sir.
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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

 
An intimate look at pre-modern music, in post-modern style
15 June 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I stumbled across this film being played on television. I figured that the TV guide had misspelled "Erotica", but as it turns out this is very much a G-Rated picture. It's almost a biopic, a bit more than a lengthy music video. It's an afternoon in the life of Ludwig von Beethoven, set to the music of his third symphony.

The events of Beethoven's life seem compressed and shoveled into the 90 minutes of the film. We see how he deals with large issues like Napeoleonic politics, patronage, love, and hearing loss, as well as smaller issues like arranging music and the most efficient means of belittling his assistant.

What I found fascinating was being able to see how the characters of the period responded to the music as it was being played. I have a distant knowledge of Beethoven's works, and while they are certainly powerful and turbulent, I lack the context of the music of the era. Seeing the patrons react to various passages of the music (which to my untrained ear just sounds pretty) and hearing them comment on the work as it progressed was for me highly illuminating.

What a thrill it would be to be able to walk around an orchestra as it plays! That would be the ultimate in surround sound! I was jealous of the characters as they mingled around the players, who from what I can tell were using period-correct instruments.


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