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Madison City Community Orchestra to present ‘Eroica’ on April 20-21

MADISON – Madison City Community Orchestra or MCCO members invite residents to an evening of classical music at its 2024 Spring Concert, Beethoven’s “Eroica — Symphony #3.”

MCCO will present the concert on April 20 at 7 p.m. and April 21 at 5 p.m. at Madison United Methodist Church, 127 Church St. The concert is free and appropriate for all ages.

“Eroica” means “heroic” in English.

“Inspiration for a concert comes from various forms: a historical event like MCCO’s upcoming summer concert that will be a tribute to D-Day’s 80th Anniversary or our fall 2023 concert about water,” Director Sandy Weisner said.

“As a little girl, every Saturday morning my mother put on the record player famous composers’ works while my siblings and I did our chores — powerful works by Dvorak, Mendelsohn, Mozart and, of course, Beethoven,” Weisner said. MCCO’S capabilities have expanded significantly, and Weisner wanted to challenge the orchestra with this great masterpiece, “Eroica.”

“Eroica is probably the most moving piece of music that Beethoven ever wrote – at least to that little girl,” Weisner said.

MCCO’S horn section includes Allison Edgecomb, Claire Handley, Jacob Jackson, James Lake, Daniel McFall, Michael Miles and Robert Price. Other concert soloists will be Sue Kula, flute; McKynzie Perry, oboe; and George Smith, bassoon.

When Beethoven started composing “Eroica,” his hearing was failing. He wrote, “I know it’ going to be really terrible . . . but I’m going to stay alive for my art.” “MCCO is happy Beethoven had the strength of spirit to continue composing, despite his deafness,” Weisner said.

Beethoven wrote “Eroica” for Napoleon, whom Beethoven revered for anti-monarchical ideals of the French Revolution, Weisner said. When Beethoven learned that Napolean had declared himself Emperor, he was violently angry.

“Eroica” debuted in a private performance in 1804.

Historians consider ‘Eroica’ as the first Romantic symphony. For Romanticism, grand orchestras embellished the Classical period with more expressive music, Weisner said.

“MCCO will have a wonderful trio section in the third movement that features our horn section. It’s bold and loud. We can’t wait until you hear it,” Weisner said.

The second movement displays great emotional range . . . misery of the funeral march to happier, major-key episodes, Weisner said. The finale features a lengthy set of variations and a fugue.

“Personally, I think God gave Beethoven such a remarkable talent that even (deafness) didn’t hinder his gift — only enhanced it,” Weisner said. “Eroica” is Beethoven’s favorite symphony.

For more information, email director@mccorchestra.org or visit mccorchestra.org.

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