Beethoven - Symphony No 3 'Eroica'

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It’s hard to imagine a famous composer like Beethoven being controversial. You might be surprised to learn that Beethoven’s monumental third symphony wasn’t without its controversies when it was composed. The issue lay in the attribution. Legend has it Beethoven originally intended to honour Napoleon Bonaparte, but upon Napoleon’s being crowned emperor he scrapped the name in favour of the more abstract, "Eroica" meaning "heroic”.


According to Beethoven biographer Ferdinand Ries, the composer flew into a rage, declaring Bonaparte a “tyrant” who “will think himself superior to all men.” (Clearly having a bad day…..)

Laura CampbellComment