How to Build a Classical CD Collection

35. Beethoven: Eroica Symphony & Symphony No. 8

The third of Beethoven's nine symphonies, the so-called Eroica, takes its name from the composer's original intention of dedicating the work to his then hero Napoleon. News of Napoleon's coronation as Emperor disillusioned Beethoven, who then did away with the dedication. All the same, the symphony remained in his mind a symphony for Napoleon and included, prophetically enough, a slow movement funeral march. Symphony No. 8 is a more traditional work, valued by its composer, but regarded as inferior to the seventh symphony by audiences in Vienna.

Recommended recording
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 "Eroica", with the Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava) under Michael Halász & Symphony No. 8, with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra under Richard Edlinger. Naxos 8.550178

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