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Fallen Hero

May 16, 2020 @ 7:30 pm

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Aurora Orchestra and pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard trace the rise and fall of the hero in this theatrical concert.

Aurora sparks a conversation across the centuries with works by Beethoven and Schönberg that speak to the mythic status of Napoleon Bonaparte as a champion of revolutionary ideals – and associated disillusionment.

Inspired by the spirit of the French Revolution, Beethoven dedicated the Eroica to his hero Napoleon.

However, upon hearing that Napoleon had crowned himself emperor, Beethoven furiously crossed out the dedication, declaring Napoleon ‘a rascal like all the others’.

The piece became simply a dedication to ‘the heroic’, pulsing with the rhythms of political protest and revolutionary in scope and scale.

Over a century later, Schönberg composed his Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte against the backdrop of World War II.

Dramatic, dark, and expressive, the Ode is based on Byron’s poem about the catastrophic fall of Napoleon and Schönberg saw the work as a defiant gesture against tyranny.

Part of Aurora’s series The Orchestal Theatre: The Claus Moser Series.

Find out more here. 


Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road
London, SE1 8XX United Kingdom
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+44 (0)20 7960 4200
Jack Petchey FoundationNational Foundation For Youth MusicArts Council England
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