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  • Carnegie Hall Presents
  • ZH Zankel Hall
  • SA/PS Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
  • REW Resnick Education Wing
  • WRH Weill Recital Hall

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Saturday, March 2, 2019 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
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Ádám Fischer by Szilvia Csibi
Beethoven’s heroic music frames a Bartók work influenced by Debussy. Bartók’s sensibilities changed after a visit to Paris, absorbing the lushness of French music while also adding accents of folk music. The courageous protagonists of Beethoven’s opera Leonore—later renamed Fidelio—are depicted in a rousing overture that features themes from the opera. His brawny Third Symphony, the “Eroica,” is grandly scaled and boldly opens the door to a new age with its muscular depiction of an unnamed hero.

Part of: The Classics: Mozart and Beethoven and Carnegie Classics

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is also performing March 3, March 5, and March 6.


Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Ádám Fischer, Conductor


BEETHOVEN Leonore Overture No. 3
BARTÓK Two Pictures
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3, "Eroica"

Major support for this concert is provided by the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation.

The Vienna Philharmonic Residency at Carnegie Hall is made possible by a leadership gift from the Mercedes T. Bass Charitable Corporation.

Rolex is the Exclusive Partner of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

At a Glance

The three works on this program are early but significant pieces in their composers’ careers. Indeed, Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony, from 1803, was his first radical break with the 18th-century Classical tradition. It has a whiplash energy, an epic structure, and an explosion of experiments that ushered in the Romanticism of Berlioz, Schumann, Wagner, Mahler, and others. It is longer, freer, more demanding, more complex, and more emotionally varied than any previous symphony. Beethoven also expanded the boundaries of the overture. For his opera Fidelio, he composed three versions of the Leonore Overture, each more symphonic than the last, so that by the time he got to No. 3—the one heard in this performance—he was faced with a work that had greatly overstepped its bounds. In fact, many commentators regard this surging piece as an early tone poem or symphonic fragment. Bartók’s colorful and exciting Two Pictures, premiered in 1913, is also an important early piece, representing Bartók’s break with late–19th-century Straussian rhetoric. The seductive first Picture is influenced by Debussy; the second, an earthy “Village Dance,” bears the imprint of his firsthand research into East European folk music, a discovery that changed the course of his career.

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