Beethoven

Beethoven began writing his third symphony, the “Eroica,” when he was inspired by Napoleon Bonaparte, then a hero of the French Revolution.

But by the time the symphony was finished, the composer dedicated it “to the memory of a great man,” even though Napoleon was still alive.

Imagine you're a teenager in Beijing in the 1960s and '70s, during the Cultural Revolution. Everything that's deemed Western and bourgeois is banned — so listening to a 78 rpm recording of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, powerfully transformative as it might be, is off limits.

All composers have obsessions. For John Adams, a composer who decidedly broke with the past, that obsession is Beethoven, as heard in the new album Absolute Jest.

Full House Productions

The hills are alive with the sounds of music. Those hills are the ones around Kerrville where the Symphony of the Hills is based. Here’s Artistic Director Gene Dowdy on their upcoming concert:

"We’ve themed it Heroes: Real and Imagined. All the music is inspired by or influenced somehow by acts of heroism, heroes or even just ideals."

Dowdy details the concert's contents:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Pages