L. van Beethoven (To the 245th anniversary of birth)
Ludwig van Beethoven – the greatest composer-symphonist – is one of the most famous composers whose compositions are frequently performed all over the world. The middle “heroic” is the period when Beethoven has been on the peak of his powers, despite of tragic feelings because of progressing deafness. This period is typical of major musical compositions full of expression, struggle, and heroism. Symphony No 3, “Heroic” became the first major work of this time. The premiere took place in 1805. Beethoven’s deeply suffered ideas of overcoming all sufferings by spiritual power and the victory of light over darkness after violent struggle turned to be similar to the main ideas of the French revolution. It’s known that Beethoven dedicated his symphony to Napoleon, but when he learnt that Napoleon acclaimed himself emperor, he changed the dedication. All movements of the symphony are distinguished by epic scale, one of the most monumental pieces within the whole history of symphonism. “This symphony … revealed all immense, amazing power of Beethoven’s genius” (P. Tchaikovsky). When Beethoven was the author of 8 symphonies and was asked which of his symphonies he liked most of all, the composer answered that the Third “Heroic”.
Instrumental drama – Leonore Overture No 3 belongs to the same period. “The overture is one of the greatest miracles of symphonic art. It embodies the main idea of Beethoven’s creative work: sufferings are being overcome during stubborn struggle which leads to liberation, to triumph of light forces” – critic A. Serov wrote. The Third concerto was finished in the Heiligenstadter Will. For the first time it was performed by the author in 1804. The popularity of this concerto didn’t weaken in the next years; it belonged to the number of few Beethoven’s compositions which became very famous during composer’s life.
François-Frédéric Guy graduated from Paris Conservatory in 1989. He is widely regarded first and foremost as a specialist of the German romantics and above all of Beethoven. In 2008 he embarked on a major Beethoven project that has included recording and performing in concert all of Beethoven’s sonatas and the five piano concertos and performed this program in Washington, Paris, and Monaco. François-Frédéric Guy is a regular guest with renowned orchestras such as Berlin Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, San Francisco Symphony, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and many others. He has collaborated with world famous conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Bernard Haitink, Kazushi Ono, Marc Albrecht, Philippe Jordan, Daniel Harding, Neeme Järvi. In recital he has performed at the major concert halls in cities including London, Milan, Berlin, Munich, Moscow, Paris, Vienna and Washington (D.C.), and at festivals including the Chopin Festival in Warsaw, Beethovenfest Bonn, Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo and Cheltenham Festival. In addition to his admiration for Beethoven François-Frédéric Guy has special affinities with the music of Bartók, Brahms, Liszt and Prokofiev and a strong commitment to contemporary music. Since his successful debuts in the dual role of soloist and conductor with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège and Orchestre d'Avignon, François-Frédéric Guy frequently conducts the complete Beethoven concertos from the piano.