Symphony No.3 in E flat major Op.55 ('Eroica')
Ludwig van Beethoven

68

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The 10th of 17 entries for Beethoven in the Ultimate Hall of Fame. This peaked at number 50 in 2007.

Of all the works in the history of classical music, this is the one that definitively closed the door on the classical period and ushered in fully the start of the Romantic era. Composed in 1803, the piece was very much written in the shadow of the two symphonic masters, Mozart and Haydn. Between them, they had defined the symphony for their era. Their music certainly contained passion and emotion, but it was always restrained within set structures. These structures were becoming tired, though, and a new music was ready to burst forth.

Step forward Beethoven, prepared once again to break the rules, and his status as the most important composer of his time was pretty much confirmed in an instant with this one mighty work.