BEETHOVEN, L. van: Egmont Overture (Bernstein)

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Egmont Overture (Bernstein)


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- (Disc 1)

Egmont, Op. 84: Overture

Venue: Grosser Musikvereinssaal, Vienna
Playing Time: 00:11:21
Television Director: Burton, Humphrey
Catalogue Number: A05500667

In the spring of 1810, the Vienna Burgtheater commissioned Beethoven to compose incidental music for a stage production of Goethe's tragedy Egmont. Although Beethoven was a great admirer of Goethe and was profoundly flattered by this commission, he did not complete the music by the time the play was given its premiere on 24 May 1810. Only at the third performance of the play on 15 June was Beethoven's music heard for the first time. Like the Leonore overtures, the Egmont foreshadows the events to come; they are encapsulated in the main theme of defiance of tyranny, which gives the music its explosive power.

Bernstein's impassioned renderings of Beethoven move audiences in a unique way. "Beethoven has always meant universality to me, ever since my early adolescence, when I first heard that unforgettable cry of 'Brüder!' From that moment on, every...symphony came to mean heart-to-heart communication, travelling satellite-fashion via the cosmos itself. I offer [this cycle] to all music-loving ears as a testament of faith and of my most profound reactions to this greatest of all composers" (Leonard Bernstein, 1980).

Part 1

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