BEETHOVEN, L. van: Egmont Overture (Karajan)

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- (Disc 1)

Egmont, Op. 84: Overture

Date of Concert: 1975
Playing Time: 00:08:34
Television Director: Karajan, Herbert von
Catalogue Number: A05500588
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For a stage production of Goethe's Egmont planned for spring 1810, the Vienna Burgtheater commissioned Beethoven to compose incidental music to Goethe's tragedy. 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 also foreshadows the events to come. In Egmont, they are encapsulated in the main theme of defiance of tyranny, which gives the music its explosive power.

Music for the masses! This could have been the war cry of both Beethoven and Karajan. For this they had in common: the wish to reach out to millions and ensure the survival of their art. Beethoven, at the dawn of the romantic era, no longer wrote exclusively for titled patrons, but for the middle classes. To reach them, he needed new means of popularizing and distributing his works, such as concerts for paying audiences and the publication of arrangements for everything from piano to brass band. In the mid 20th century, Herbert von Karajan also saw a new way of reaching out to greater numbers of people through the combination of picture and sound - the video recording. This recording of the Egmont Overture dates from 1975 and is part of a special "overture" special produced with the Berlin Philharmonic.

Part 1


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