I don’t usually cover classical music, even though I do listen to it often enough. Generally speaking, I just know what I like when I hear it, but I couldn’t give you conductor/symphonic reasons as to why. It’s just pure visceral response, for me. That said, over time I have come to generally trust Deutsche Grammophon’s releases, and Herbert Von Karajan’s treatments at the helm of the Berliner Philharmoniker.
You probably flip past these records in your local thrift store bins, but I say don’t be so quick to dismiss them. There’s pure gold in these grooves.
So here we have an LP of Symphony Nr. 3 E flat Major, op.55 (Eroica), on Deutsche Grammophon 138 802, with the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Herbet Von Karajan.
Side A: 1. Allegro con brio 2. Marcia funebre: Adagio assai
Side B: 3. Allegro Vivace 4. Finale: Allegro molto – Poco Andante – Presto
There’s a ton of interesting reading on the history HERE. Did you know Beethoven originally dedicated this symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte, but withdrew that dedication as it might affect his composer’s fee?
And here’s some smarter writing than I could ever manage:
“The work is a milestone work in classical music; it is twice as long as the symphonies of Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – the first movement is almost as long as a Classical symphony (with repetition of the exposition). Thematically, it covers more emotional ground than Beethoven’s earlier symphonies, and thus marks a key milestone in the transition between Classicism and Romanticism that would define Western art music in the early decades of the nineteenth century.
The second movement especially displays a great emotional range, from the misery of the funeral march theme, to the relative solace of happier, major-key episodes. The finale displays a similar emotional range, and is given a thematic importance then unheard of. In earlier symphonies, the finale was a quick and breezy conclusion; here, the finale is a lengthy set of variations and a fugue.” (Wiki)
Anyway, I loved it. I can put these works on and just let them play. Invariably, my mind is swept off into the music and held there, happily.
You’ll know it when you hear it: