Six great composers, six landmark symphonies, a top orchestra and its star conductor Kent Nagano – these are the components of an extraordinary classical-music television event. Shot in High Definition, it takes a bold and innovative approach to the recording of classical music. Boom and tracking shots, quick cuts, remote-controlled cameras – stylistic means previously used chiefly for pop music recordings give the programs an up-to-the-minute look and feel. A team of more than 30 specialists makes
sure that viewers enjoy a truly cinematic experience. The programs also go new ways by featuring entertaining, historically founded animated sequences illustrating episodes from the lives of the composers. Backstage interviews with the musicians and excerpts from their rehearsals let us share in the spirit of their music-making. Conductor Kent
Nagano also relates what is of special importance to him in each work, and offers fascinating insights on the origin and context of the work in question. The main element of each episode is the live recording of a concert from the Berlin Philharmonie. Kent Nagano is one of the most successful and high-profile conductors of today. He has led all the major orchestras of New York, London, Berlin, Vienna, Paris... In 2000 he was named artistic director of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin. In fall 2006 he succeeded Zubin Mehta as General Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera.
Beethoven originally dedicated this symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte, whom he saw as the champion of the common man, a hero pursuing the newly founded ideals of the French Revolution: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. However, upon hearing that Napoleon had declared himself emperor, Beethoven became furious and tore up the title page containing the dedication. The "Eroica" marks one of the turning points in music history, heralding a new age in symphonic style. Prior to this work, Beethoven had been a composer with roots in the 18th century. The Third Symphony's length and the nature of its thematic material, emotional depth, range and harmonic daring set it apart from any earlier symphonic work.