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Liberty, Equality, Fraternity | Apr 6, 2024 | Tel-Aviv, Israel
Liberty, Equality, Fraternity | Apr 6, 2024 | Tel-Aviv, Israel

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity | Apr 6, 2024 | Tel-Aviv, Israel

Beethoven and Schoenberg (with help from Lord Byron) stand up to tyranny.

Time & Place

Apr 06, 2024, 7:00 PM

Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, Sderot Sha'ul HaMelech 27, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

The Story

Beethoven's Eroica Symphony heralded a true revolution in the language of music and symbolizes, perhaps more than any other work, the transition from the Classical to the Romantic era. Beethoven had originally dedicated the work to Napoleon, whose call for representative government he had greatly admired, but upon learning that Naploen had declared himself emperor Beethoven tore up the symphony's dedication page, leaving us with a Heroic Symphony that references an ideal rather than a person. The Eroica will be performed in a newly commissioned chamber ensemble version written especially for this occasion. 

"but yesterday a King! ⁠And armed with Kings to strive— And now thou art a nameless thing: ⁠So abject—yet alive!"

So opens Lord Byron's Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte. As set to music by Arnold Schoenberg, it is a bitterly sarcastic and grotesque epic that mocks tyranny and man's thirst for power. Written at the height of the second world war, Schoenberg uses this text to express his feelings about present day dictators. Written for a small ensemble and a reciter, Schoenberg instructs the reciter to intone the text as a cross between speech and song, which only enhances its ironic potency.

Concert Program

Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 3 'Eroica' (arranged for chamber ensemble by Yuval Shapiro)

Arnold Schoenberg Ode to Napoleon

Guy Eshed, flute

Tibi Cziger, clarinet

Daniel Bard, violin 

Kobi Malkin, violin

Tomoko Akasaka, viola

Michal Korman, cello

Assaff Weisman, piano

Yair Polishook, baritone

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