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'.
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The day that changed music forever
4 October 2003 (UK)
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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?
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
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
[timidly, afraid of Beethoven's rage
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ries, you interfering insect! What is it?
Herr Haydn is here, sir.
Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major (Eroica)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
Conducted by John Eliot Gardiner See more