After Marathon Bombings, Music to Stir the Heroic Spirit

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Last week was a tough one. Amidst the horrifying scenes following the bombings of the Boston Marathon, also came images of truly heroic acts, from bystanders to paramedics and law enforcement officers to the runners themselves.

This week's Showdown offered three works that convey the heroic spirit through music.

You chose Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 "Eroica" performed by the Gewandhaus Orchester Leipzig with conductor Kurt Masur. We played it at noon. 


Comments [17]

Floria from NYC

The music I kept hearing in my mind during the 9/11 coverage was Allegrie's "Miserere" It would have also been my choice for this, too.

Apr. 24 2013 01:37 PM

A Masterpiece of music to celebrate the indomitable American Spirit!

Apr. 24 2013 12:28 PM

If I had voted, I would have voted for the Eroica. Not only do I love Beethoven, but the funeral march second movement is absolutely appropriate for memorializing those killed by the bombers. The following movements provide a sense of solace and resurgence. Just what we need in sad and somber times such as this.

Apr. 24 2013 12:10 PM
Miles from Montclair, NJ

I choose Ein Heldenleben. A beautiful, powerful piece which most directly paints a portrait of a heroism. Especially since it's a piece closest to our time, it is a fitting tribute to the heroism of the Marathon heroes.

Apr. 24 2013 11:59 AM
George Aronson from Morristown, NJ

In the 1950s I watched a TV series called "The Big Story." The theme music stirred me immensely. Later I found out it was "Ein Heldenleben." I've always loved this piece.

Apr. 24 2013 11:59 AM
Andrew B. from Lower Merion, PA

It seems from the posts that I am in the small minority that would rather hear the Dvorak or Ein Heldenlaben. Beethoven symphonies are great, but I'd like a change of pace.

Who would like to help me stage a heroic coup in the name of greater variety in classical music programming?

Apr. 24 2013 11:39 AM

there can be no other choice than Beethoven. His music as always so powerful, magnificent! But's that Beethoven for you. He always delivers!

Apr. 24 2013 11:31 AM
David Gravitz from Westchester, NY

I think the recordings chosen should have been by the Boston Symphony (if available). Anyway, IO still voted for Beethoven's Eroica, one of my all time favorites.

Apr. 24 2013 11:10 AM
Tim Brown from Washington DC

I listened to all three of your samples, and heard three different kinds of heroes. The Dvorak seemed more nationalistic than human, the Strauss sounded like a movie hero, the Beethoven sounded completely genuine and humanistic. No surprise I vote for the Eroica. Thanks for another timely and fun contest.

Apr. 24 2013 10:46 AM
Lee from NYC

@LM: Beautifully said about heroism. Also, thanks for reminding us of the wisdom of one of the great children's heroes of all times - Mr. Rogers.

My vote is for Eroica!

Apr. 24 2013 10:24 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Very hard choice for me to make. Chose the Eroica because the very first LP sampler had this piece. It impressed a very young teenager very much. For one dollar there was something like ten pieces of music, Fingals Cave,etc.

Apr. 24 2013 10:09 AM
kriss from Piscataway, NJ

The Eroica is terrific, but I'd like to hear the Dvorak, a piece seldom played. Copeland's Fanfare for the Common Man would have been another excellent choice, as ordinary people at the marathon saved lives in a heroic way as the community came together to help one another.

Thanks are also due to the Watertown police!

Apr. 24 2013 09:35 AM
karl stoll from Bayside

what about the Heroic Polanaise by Chopin ???

Apr. 24 2013 09:13 AM
Les from Miami, Florida

I'd choose the incidental music to "Egmont" by Beethoven.

Apr. 24 2013 08:57 AM
Les from Miami, Florida

I'd choose the incidental music to "Egmont" by Beethoven.

Apr. 24 2013 08:57 AM
LM from New Jersey

Thanks for the music. It's worth restating the words of Mister Fred Rogers again in this place. In times of sorrow and tragedy...."look for the helpers". There were lots of helpers in Boston last week and there are lots of helpers in other tragic and ordinary places. This music salutes all those hero helpers even if we don't know their names.

Apr. 24 2013 08:52 AM
Bob Link

We need Heroes, and find them in ordinary people.
Thank you all.

Apr. 24 2013 06:56 AM

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