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Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major, Op. 55

Beethoven's Third Symphony is regarded as a turning point in musical history, and it marks the beginning of his career's second period. Beethoven's ideas for the "Eroica" began during his tumultuous "Heiligenstadt Testament" period, but he waited until May 1803 to focus his efforts. He originally titled the piece "Bonaparte" out of admiration for Napoleon, but when Napoleon declared himself emperor in 1804, Beethoven gave the piece its current name. It was dedicated instead to Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz, a patron, and it was at his palace that the "Eroica" was first performed in August 1804. The "Eroica" was long, technically challenging and aimed at more than entertainment -- components that initially confused critics. After a few years, they began to see value beyond the aesthetic.

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