Hart is Beethoven in unique drama of the first performance of the
Hart is to play Ludwig van Beethoven in a unique drama for BBC
TWO by Nick Dear which focuses on the day in June 1804 when Beethoven's
Third Symphony Eroica was first played in a private rehearsal at
the palace of the composer's patron in Vienna.
starring Frank Finlay, Tim Piggott-Smith, Jack Davenport, Claire
Skinner and Anton Lesser and directed by Simon Cellan-Jones
- whose credits include Our Friends in the North, Storm Damage and
the feature film Some Voices - Eroica is a unique
collaboration between the BBC's Classical Music and Drama departments.
Producer and Head of BBC Classical Music Peter Maniura says: "Beethoven's
revolutionary Third Symphony, The Eroica, burst upon an unsuspecting
world in the summer of 1804.
Classical Music and BBC Drama are collaborating to recreate that
day in a film drama which allows viewers to feel the full force
and emotion of a work which changed the course of musical history."
will feature the Orchestre Revolutionaire et Romantique conducted
by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, one of the world's foremost Beethoven
performance will be the first in modern times to replicate exactly
the number of players and the size of the venue which the invited
audience, on that historic day, experienced.
the story behind the symphony, Beethoven's passion for his work,
his unrequited love for an unattainable woman and the reactions
and observations of those who are present.
against the revolutionary climate of the early 1800s, Beethoven
- who is suffering from a gradual loss of hearing - confounds his
audience by producing a score dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte (which
he later retracts), which surpasses the old classical style of his
contemporaries and introduces the new concept of a romantic style.
patron, Prince Lobkowitz (Jack Davenport), Count Dietrichstein (Tim
Piggott-Smith), Sukowaty the copyist (Anton Lesser), the Brunsvik
sisters (Claire Skinner and Lucy Akhurst) and Hayden (Frank Finlay)
are all in the audience to witness the premiere of one of Beethoven's
finest and ground-breaking works.
Nick Dear, whose two-part drama about Byron for BBC TWO is currently
in post-production, says: "Eroica
unfolds over just a few hours on 9 June 1804.
begins with preparations for the rehearsal: the musicians lugging
their instruments, the servants preparing the salon, Prince Lobkowitz,
his family and guests anticipating a thrilling session, Beethoven's
friends and lovers showing up to give support.
then the bad-tempered maestro begins his rehearsal - the nature
of the music is so different that it causes problems both for players
and audience - at one point Beethoven has a furious row with the
orchestra and is banished to an ante-room.
whole of the symphony will be played through, and then it's over.
End of film.
goes home and has some fish for dinner. He likes fish."
Root, Controller of BBC TWO, says: "Eroica is a unique piece
of programming that brings together the skills and talents of two
different genres to create an informative and compelling story.
a new way of working that we are keen to explore on TWO and there
are already other cross-genre collaborations between the BBC's Factual,
Entertainment and Drama genres in the pipeline."
include Byron, a
two-part drama also written by Nick Dear starring Jonny Lee Miller
in the title role;
and Dunkirk drama documentaries;
Pepys, a film by Guy Jenkin with Steve Coogan attached to star in
the title role;
Larkin: Love Again,
a film based on the life of poet Philip Larkin starring Hugh Bonneville,
all for BBC TWO.
continues: "With these dramas, Eroica, or Larkin: Love Again
or Byron, we're trying to get under the skin of the subjects, to
capture the audience's imagination by harnessing the experience
and expertise of programme-makers across the BBC to bring a new
perspective to story-telling."
Eroica starts next week in and around London - including the Fame
Academy mansion in Highgate.
Hart was seen most recently as Dr Watson in BBC ONE's The Hound
of the Baskervilles, opposite Richard Roxburgh's Sherlock Holmes;
as Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone;
and as the father in Stephen Frears' Liam.
is to be shown later this year on BBC TWO.
producer is Liza Marshall (The Sins, Fields of Gold) and the executive
producers are Peter Maniura and Hilary Salmon.
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