The National Forum of Music will host the Ningbo Symphony Orchestra – an ensemble composed of young musicians from the eastern part of China. They will perform under the baton of the famous conductor Yu Feng, among others the Yellow River Piano Concerto, based on a cantata of the same title written by the 20th-century composer Xian Xinghai, and the famous Symphony No. 3 in E flat major op. 55 ‘Eroica’ by Ludwig van Beethoven.
Initially, Beethoven was to dedicate his Third Symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte, whom he sincerely appreciated. When the composer finished work on the work, the First Consul of the French Republic thwarted Beethoven's plans. At the end of 1804, Bonaparte, in an unusually elegant style, was crowned the Emperor of the French – he himself put a crown on his head, which was to be an expression of the fact that he owed winning supreme power only to himself. The event heavily touched Beethoven. He could not accept the fact that Napoleon had been overcome by ambition. The composer eventually added a subtitle: ‘A heroic symphony, written to commemorate the memory of the great Man’. In this way, Beethoven expressed his disappointment at the coronation and symbolically pointed to the ‘death’ of the old Napoleon and his values.
As far as music is concerned, Symphony No. 3 in E flat major op. 55 ‘Eroica’ is a work ahead of its time. Beethoven used many innovative solutions in this work. What draws attention is duration of the piece – around 50 minutes. At the time, it was a monumental work, and the audience was put to a test during the premiere. The ‘Heroic’ Symphony is filled with numerous symbols. A novelty is the introduction of a funeral march as the second movement of the work, moreover, the composer has surprised his audience also with melodic-harmonic returns.
The concert will be a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the work of outstanding Chinese. Xian Xinghai belongs to this group, and his most famous work is the Yellow River cantata, based on which a piano concerto of the same title was written (transcribed by Yin Chengzong, Liu Zhuang, Chu Wanghua and Sheng Lihong). Xian Xinghai in his work tried to combine the tradition of Eastern music with influences of Western classical music. This connection is very clearly heard in the concerto, in which the excellent Polish pianist Krzysztof Książek will perform the solo part.