Barenboim on Beethoven 9: The Eroica

A film by Christopher Nupen

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Daniel Barenboim — Presenter

New Philharmonia Orchestra

Daniel Barenboim — Conductor

Program notes

“I doubt whether in the whole history of arts,” says Daniel Barenboim, “there has been such a great stride forward in such a short time… I believe it opens a new page in the history of human consciousness.” He is speaking, of course, of Beethoven’s Third Symphony, the Eroica, a watershed moment in the evolution of Beethoven’s artistry and, indeed, of music itself.

Apart from its unprecedented length, extending the symphonic genre to epic dimensions, the Eroica distinguishes itself by an exceptional unity of ideas: “a whole row of subjects,” Barenboim affirms, “which seem to cling together not only by rhythm and melody—but organically, as if by a law of nature.” His cogent analysis is followed by a bravura performance of the famed first movement, with Barenboim conducting the New Philharmonia Orchestra, filmed with Christopher Nupen’s typical flair.

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