Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827) lived in the Vienna suburb of Oberdöbling during the summer of 1803. At the time it was surrounded by fields, gardens and vineyards. Like many wealthy Viennese, he spent his summer holidays beyond the outskirts of the city.
He wrote a major part of his Eroica Symphony here between May and November 1803. The work consolidated Beethoven’s reputation as a revolutionary force in music. It surpasses all his previous compositions in length as well as in audacity and inventiveness. Originally dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte, Beethoven revoked the dedication when he heard in December 1804 that the former first consul had been crowned emperor. Beethoven used to express his thanks for the financial support he received from his mainly aristocratic patrons by dedicating his compositions to them. Accordingly, the Waldstein Sonata, the Piano Sonata op. 53, was dedicated to Ernst Count Waldstein (1762 - 1823). He expressed his gratitude to the princely dynasty of Lobkowitz with the Triple Concerto op. 56 (for violin, violoncello and piano). Both works were written around the same time as the Eroica. Franz Joseph Maximilian Prince Lobkowitz (1772 - 1816) reserved the performing rights for this symphony for six months The first performance was in his palais, where his private orchestra played it for a small circle of invited guests.
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