The Florida Orchestra returns this week for another Evening Masterworks with conductor Michael Francis at the helm. This past Thursday’s Masterworks selection featured Richard Strauss’s “Don Quixote” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 3,” or, the “Eroica” Symphony. Strauss’s “Don Quixote” follows a knight’s adventurous quest while Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony exhibits themes of heroism and triumph. Guest cellist Maximilian Hornung will also be performing.
The Florida Orchestra Beethoven’s “Eroica” Rebroadcast
Conductor Michael Francis has established himself as a highly respected conductor. He is currently the lead conductor of The Florida Orchestra and will continue as the orchestra’s main conductor through the 2023-24 season. In addition, Francis is the Music Director of the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, California. He has collaborated with critically acclaimed artists Lang Lang, Arcadi Volodos, and Emanuel Ax, to name a few. Francis secured international recognition in 2007 while participating as the lead conductor for the London Symphony Orchestra by stepping in for Valery Gergiev and John Adams. Michael Francis has maintained a promising career as a leading conductor and continues to do so as the conductor for The Florida Orchestra.
Richard Strauss’s “Don Quixote” is an adventurous tale depicting the journey of a brave knight. The work starts as the knight begins his journey to fix the wrongs of the world. “Don Quixote” begins with a bold and triumphant theming that presents feelings of optimism as the knight sets off to accomplish his goal. The work concludes with soft thematic tones that signify the knights passing. Strauss’s “Don Quixote” is a perfect example of a heroic tale that brings the listener on an epic journey rid the world of the evils that lie within.
Finally, Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony will be the centerpiece of this broadcast. This work exhibits a constant theming of triumph and heroism throughout. Originally, Beethoven began composing his Eroica in dedication to Napoleon Bonaparte. In fact, Napoleon’s idea to reform societal norms in order to help the working class achieve higher forms of equality impressed Beethoven. Unfortunately, Beethoven quickly grew to resent Napoleon after naming himself emperor on December 2, 1804. Beethoven then changed the work to imply general heroism instead of dedicating the work to Napoleon.
As we continue to go through these unprecedented times, we here at Classical WSMR will continue to provide you with these phenomenal rebroadcasting’s. We want to give a special thanks to The Florida Orchestra for partnering with us to bring you these concerts during your time at home. This helps everyone to stay connected and enjoy the classical music we all love. You can tune in to Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9 every Thursday to listen to these broadcasts. You can also stream Classical WSMR live from your smartphone with the WUSF Public Media App. If you miss a broadcast, you can listen on-demand at WSMR.org for 45 days after the airdate. For additional information on The Florida Orchestra visit: https://floridaorchestra.org/.