The Symphony No. 7 's first draft is dated 13 May 1812. A week later, Napoleon called the German Princes gathered in Dresden to engage their troops in the attack launched against Russia. Like the Symphony No.3, called “Eroica” (first dedicated in 1802 to “the memory of a great man”, aka the First Consul Bonaparte who, when he became Emperor, was dead to the composer), or the concerto for piano No.5 (that Beethoven never chose to title The Emperor, and that he dedicated in 1810 to the Archduke of Austria instead, when Europe was swept by Napoleonic seaquakes), the Symphony No.7 evokes historical great powers, much more than the alleged passion for Antonie Brentano, as it’s often said. The work would rest one year and a half concealed in Beethoven’s drawers, at a time when Austria was threatened by France. The Battle of Leipzig, in October 1813, gave the advantage to the Coalition armies, but French invasion kept on progressing in Russia. Johann Nepomuk Maelzel – inventor of the metronome, the panharmonicon (an automaton able to play the musical instruments of an orchestra) and of a useless hearing aid for Beethoven- convinced Beethoven to take part in a charity concert for soldiers wounded in the Battle of Hanau. The concert took place on 8 December 1813. Beethoven conducted the Premiere of his Seventh Symphony, along with his Wellington’s Victory (composed for this panharmonicon instrument, but performed for the occasion by the orchestra), and Pleyel’s and Dussek’s Marches. The orchestra included some of the finest musicians of their time, with Johann Hummel, Antonio Salieri and Ludwig Spohr.
Orchestre de l’Opéra national de Paris
Direction musicale et Directeur musical : Philippe Jordan
Une coproduction Opéra national de Paris et Telmondis
En association avec ARTE France
En association avec M_MEDIA /ClassicAll TV
Avec le soutien de Pierre Bergé, mécène des concerts symphoniques de l’orchestre de l’Opéra national de Paris.
Et de la Fondation Orange, mécène des retransmissions audiovisuelles de l’Opéra national de Paris
Avec le concours du centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée
Réalisateur : Vincent Massip
© OPERA NATIONAL DE PARIS - TELMONDIS - 2014
Visuel © Jean-François Leclercq / OnP