All About Ludwig van Beethoven

Information on Beethoven, his life, his music and classical sheet music

Best 5 Beethoven Books on Amazon

1.Beethoven: The Universal Composer by Edmund Morris

2.Beethoven by Maynard Solomon

3.Beethoven: The Music and the Life by Lewis Lockwood

4.Late Beethoven: Music, Thought, Imagination by Maynard Solomon

5.Beethoven as I Knew Him by Anton Felix Schindler

Classical Sheet Music Downloads at Virtual Sheet Music

Beethoven's Symphony No. 3. The Eroica Symphony

Symphony No. 3 in flat E major, op. 55 represents a new stage in Beethoven’s, being one of the most discussed symphonies throughout time. The symphony was composed as a sign of great admiration for Napoleon Bonaparte, whose military and political ascension he had closely followed. When it was performed in first audition in 1804, at prince Lobkowitz’s court, it was dedicated to Napoleon. Before its editing in 1806, after Napoleon’s coronation, Beethoven renames the symphony "Eroica", composta per festiggiare il Souvenire di un grand’Uomo. (Composed to celebrate the memory of a great man).

The first public audition of the symphony takes place on April 7th 1805 in the concert hall of the Vienna Theatre, with the composer as conductor, and is received with a certain amount of skepticism and reserve by the critics of the time, taking into account the innovative spirit of the music, the distancing from the Viennese vision of the symphony and the Haydnian and Mozartian stylistic characteristics.

The idea for a heroic symphony had been suggested to him even before 1789 by general Bernadotte, but the first thematic drafts come into shape in the summer of 1803. The symphony was then finished in the spring of 1804.

Part I – Allegro con brio – starts straight with the unraveling of the first theme, for the first time flouting the slow introduction, which had been present in the first two symphonies. A solemn theme, with a ternary movement in a grave key, which acquires constancy only at the third presentation, followed by the second theme, in a minor tonality with a lyrical and melancholic expression.

Symphony No.3, Part I

Part II – Marcia funebre, adagio assai – is perhaps one of those symphonic movements of great expressivity, sobriety and depth. The main theme of this part is presented by the group of string instruments, in an inexorable rhythm articulating a unique emotional tension. This is perhaps the highest point of the whole symphony.

Symphony No.3, Part II

Part III – Scherzo, Allegro vivace – strongly contrasts with the previous segment. Sorrow is completely crushed and its place is taken by the joy of life. This part can be compared to the "resurrection of nature in spring."

Part IV – Allegro molto – is a natural continuation of the previous matters tackled in the symphony and can be seen as a conclusion to the entire work. The finale symbolizes victory, the triumph of The Good and of The Progress.

Read more about all the other Beethoven symphonies

Read more about Beethoven's music

  • The piano sonatas - Analysis of the sonata form and the most important Beethoven Piano Sonatas.
  • Trios - General discussion regarding Beethoven's trios for various instruments and ensembles.
  • Sonatas for Cello and Piano - Discussion about Beethoven's five cello and piano sonatas.
  • Sonatas for Violin and Piano - Overview of Beethoven's ten sonatas for violin and piano.
  • String Quartets - Brief analysis of Beethoven's seventeen string quartets.
  • The Opera "Fidelio" - The background, subject and influences of Beethoven's only opera.
  • The Concertos - Beethoven's five piano concertos, his violin concerto and triple concerto analyzed.
  • The Overtures - Brief overview of some of the most important Beethoven overtures.