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Like the Fifth and Sixth symphonies, Beethoven’s Seventh and Eighth are a set of “untwins,” contrasting works created basically side-by-side. Beethoven completed Seventh Symphony in 1812 and premiered it and his Wellington’s Victory, or The Battle of Vitoria, in December 1813 at a fund-raiser for soldiers wounded at the battle of Hanau. In between, the program featured marches by other composers where the orchestra was accompanied by a mechanical trumpet-playing machine, created by Johann Malzel, who also invented the metronome.
The symphony itself was immediately popular and was repeated several times in the weeks following its premiere. The second movement especially appealed to audiences, and it was not unusual for it to be performed as a separate work during the 19th century.
The occasion and Beethoven’s celebrity status garnered an orchestra that was almost an all-star band. Beethoven’s favored quartet leader, Ignaz Schuppanzigh, was the concertmaster, and next to him sat the violinist/composer Louis Spohr. Domenico Dragonetti led the basses, and composers and pianists Giacomo Meyerbeer, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, and Ignaz Moscheles all played percussion in Wellington’s Victory. Beethoven conducted all the music that day but was upset that the Seventh Symphony was referred to as a “companion piece” to Wellington’s Victory.
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Are you looking to buy a gift for someone a Amazon? Need to stock up on supplies from Amazon?
Amazon has a special program called Smile, where the company donates a small amount of your purchase to your designated charity. Once you select the ESO as your Smile recipient, just point your browser to smile.amazon.com each time you want to shop at Amazon and the Evanston Symphony will benefit. It won’t cost you a thing!
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Free Pre-Concert Preview Series!
Enhance your concert experience with a sneak preview — Composers come alive and their passions take center stage when ESO General Manager David Ellis and ESO Maestro Lawrence Eckerling take you on an insider’s tour of the history and highlights behind the music.
Meet our soloist, William Hagen, at Musical Insights. He and our Maestro Lawrence Eckerling and David Ellis will explore the October concert program in depth.
Friday, October 20 at 1:30 pm,
The Merion Crystal Ballroom at
1611 Chicago Avenue at Davis Street, Evanston.
FREE and open to the public.
Light refreshments will be served and casual tours of newly renovated apartments will be available after the program.