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Beethovenfest

Beethoven and more podcast #30: Sounds of revolution

Three outstanding ensembles join forces on stage to present Hector Berlioz' last symphony near the close of the Beethovenfest 2010.

French composer Hector Berlioz

French composer Hector Berlioz

Hector Berlioz (1803-1869)

Grande Symphonie funebre et triomphale, op. 15 H80: Apotheose

Philharmonic Chorus Bonn

Music Corps of the German Armed Forces, Siegburg

Beethoven Orchestra Bonn

Conductor: Stefan Blunier

MP3 recorded in the Beethoven Hall, Bonn on October 8, 2010 by West German Radio, Cologne (WDR)

Three ensembles drawn from the region around Beethovenfest host city Bonn take the stage in this unusual work: Bonn's Philharmonic Choir, the Music Corps of the Armed Forces from nearby Siegburg and the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn. They join forces in a powerful rendition of the Grand Funeral and Triumphal Symphony by Hector Berlioz.

The symphony commemorates the French Revolution of 1830, in which King Charles X was overthrown. It was commissioned and originally performed ten years after the revolution as the graves of those who died were moved to the historical Place de la Bastille, the site where the first French Revolution of 1789 broke out.

In the final movement, Berlioz invokes the full range of the revolution's drama and bloodshed. Cymbals clash and snares flare as the choir sings, "Glory and triumph for these heroes, whose graves lie in the fields of the motherland!"

Author: Greg Wiser

Editor: Rick Fulker

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