Work

Coriolan Overture, Op. 62

Coriolan, alongside Egmont, is one of the most renowned symphonic overtures in Beethoven's repertoire, embodying the "heroic" style for which the German master is celebrated (alongside the "Eroica" Symphony, of course). Indeed, the composition carries an epic and dramatic tone, evoking the spirit of heroism. Drawing inspiration from the narratives of Plutarch, the work narrates the story of Coriolanus, a Roman general who betrays Rome and launches an attack on the city. Surprisingly, it is not soldiers who rise to defend the city, but rather the women of the town, who implore him to spare them from the impending massacre. Witnessing the tears of his own mother and sister among the grieving matrons, Coriolanus is deeply moved, and overwhelmed by the weight of his shame, he ultimately takes his own life.

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medici.tv, your front-row seat to the most beautiful concert halls to listen to Beethoven's Coriolan Overture, Op. 62

As the title suggests, Beethoven's Coriolan Overture is rooted in the story of Coriolanus, a Roman general who betrays his homeland. This tale from ancient history is well-known thanks to Shakespeare's theatrical adaptation. However, Beethoven and the English bard differ on one crucial point: the fate of the hero. Beethoven constructs his composition on two contrasting themes—one intense and fierce, representing Coriolanus, and the other serene and warm, symbolizing the prayers of the women. These themes alternate, creating a sense of hesitation and tension. The Coriolan Overture, Op. 62 is imbued with anticipation and Beethoven concludes it by gradually dissolving the first theme, which, unlike in Shakespeare's version, does not represent the general's assassination but rather his own tragic decision to end his life. Experience Beethoven's Coriolan Overture on medici.tv, the premier classical music streaming platform, and listen to Beethoven's masterpieces whenever and wherever you desire!