Beethoven, Egmont Overture, Op. 84

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 for Unitel.

Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Title: Beethoven, Egmont Overture, Op. 84
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan
Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker
Video Director: Herbert von Karajan
Genre: Concert
Length: 9 minutes
Cat.No.: A05500588
Gallery         DVD