Dedicated initially to Napoleon and ultimately "to the memory of a great man," Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 first inspired the concept of a "symphonic poem.” Virtuoso violinist Andrew Manze argues that the "Eroica" may be "the greatest and most important symphony ever written," and in his debut as a conductor makes a good case with this scintillating performance. Coupled thematically are the 12 contredanses and the finale of the ballet from The Creatures of Prometheus.
"He succeeds in making the music new. Radical rubato, violent coups d'archet [bow strokes], beautiful woodwind detailing, and a strikingly slow 'Marche funbre' contribute to a sense of freshness and dynamism."—The Independent
"This excellent disc is as full-bodied as they come, and offers an insightful interpretation."—Audiophile Audition
"The 59-member Swedish ensemble seems close in scale and range to early 19th-century orchestras, and delivers a clean and meticulous reading that makes the music sound crisp, streamlined, and agile…. Harmonia Mundi's reproduction is exceptionally clear and strong, so prepare for a delightful listening experience."—All Music Guide