Handel and Haydn Society Performs Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, ‘Eroica’

January 20 + 22 at Symphony Hall
Press performance is Friday, January 20 at 7:30 PM

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(Boston January 4, 2023) The Handel and Haydn Society will perform Beethoven’s revolutionary Third Symphony, “Eroica,” January 20 + 22, 2023 at Symphony Hall. Led by Czech conductor Václav Luks, the concert pairs “Eroica” with H+H’s first-ever performance of Symphony in D Minor, La Tempesta, by Czech composer Paul Wranitzky, a contemporary of Mozart and Beethoven. The concert begins with the H+H Youth Choruses performing a work by one of Mozart’s mentors, Giovanni Martini’s Domine, ad Adjuvandum me Festina.

Inspired by the French revolution, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 is filled with power and emotion. From the expansive first movement, to the tragic depths of the Funeral March and the virtuoso solos of the triumphant finale, “Eroica” showcases Beethoven’s growing musical palette and is regarded as a milestone in musical history, the invention of the modern symphony as we think of it today. Befitting of its innovative, revolutionary character, “Eroica” was not an immediate hit at its 1804 premiere, but just two years later, a critic called it “the greatest, most original, most artistic and, at the same time, most interesting of all symphonies.”

“‘Eroica’ is an innovative, revolutionary work, a radical, bold new statement unlike anything before it. Performing this masterpiece on the instruments Beethoven knew and wrote for wipes off the cobwebs and restores all the heartfelt passion Beethoven felt driven to express,” said David Snead, Philip and Marjorie Gerdine President and CEO of the Handel and Haydn Society. “Audiences who know this famed work only from performances by large symphony orchestras on 20th century instruments will experience it anew, with – to quote renowned conductor John Eliot Gardiner – ‘greater clarity, greater transparency, a greater sense of excitement, freshness and ebullience.’ all its passionate energy vividly displayed.”

The concerts begin with Czech composer Paul Wranitzky’s Symphony in D minor, “La Tempesta.” Highly respected by Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven, Wranitzky was a prolific composer and one of the leading conductors in Vienna in the late 18 th century, so much so that Beethoven and Haydn preferred him for their premieres. “La Tempesta” chronicles a storm at sea that slowly builds until the bass drum takes over for the thunderous finale. Conductor Václav Luks is founder and artistic director of the Prague baroque orchestra Collegium 1704 and of the vocal ensemble Collegium Vocale 1704. He made his H+H debut last season and recently led the H+H Chorus and Orchestra in Messiah at Symphony Hall.

The 2022-23 Season
Beethoven + Mozart – January 6 + 8 at Symphony Hall
Beethoven Eroica – January 20 + 22 at Symphony Hall
Bach Brandenburg Concertos – February 17 + 19 at NEC Jordan Hall + Sanders Theatre
Mozart + Mendelssohn – March 17 + 19 at NEC’s Jordan Hall
Bach Easter Oratorio – March 31 + April 2 at Symphony Hall
Crossing the Deep – June 1 + 4 at JFK Presidential Library and Museum

Subscription packages are also available and may be purchased by calling 617-262-1815 or visiting handelandhaydn.org.

About the Handel and Haydn Society
Boston’s Grammy-winning Handel and Haydn Society is dedicated to performing Baroque and Classical music with a freshness, a vitality, and a creativity that inspires all ages. H+H has been captivating audiences for 208 consecutive seasons (the most of any performing arts organization in the United States). Today, H+H’s Orchestra and Chorus delight more than 50,000 listeners annually with a nine-week subscription series at Boston Symphony Hall and other leading venues. Through the Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program, H+H supports seven youth choirs of singers in grades 2-12 and provides thousands of complimentary tickets to students and communities throughout Boston, ensuring the joy of music is accessible to all. H+H’s numerous free community concerts include an annual commemoration of the original 1863 Emancipation Proclamation concert on December 31. H+H has released 16 CDs on the Coro label and has toured nationally and internationally. In all these ways, H+H fulfills its mission to inspire the intellect, touch the heart, elevate the soul, and connect us with our shared humanity through transformative experiences with Baroque and Classical music.