Egmont, Op. 84 by Ludwig van Beethoven, is a set of incidental music pieces for the 1787 play of the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. It consists of an overture followed by a sequence of nine pieces for soprano, male narrator, and full symphony orchestra. (The male narrator is optional; he is not used in the play and does not appear in all recordings of the complete incidental music.) Beethoven wrote it between October 1809 and June 1810, and it was premiered on 15 June 1810.
The subject of the music and dramatic narrative is the life and heroism of 16th-century nobleman Lamoral, Count of Egmont from the Low Countries. It was composed during the Napoleonic Wars when the First French Empire had extended its domination over vast swathes of Europe. Beethoven had famously expressed his great outrage over Napoleon Bonaparte's decision to crown himself Emperor in 1804, furiously scratching out his name in the dedication of the Eroica Symphony. In the music for Egmont, Beethoven expressed his own political concerns through the exaltation of the heroic sacrifice of a man condemned to death for having taken a valiant stand against oppression. The Overture became an unofficial anthem of the 1956 Hungarian revolution.
Performances & Interviews
- Web Exclusive: Egmont Overturehttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02chcqv.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p02chcqv.jpg2012-06-20T23:00:04.000ZThe Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra and members of the Big Noise Orchestra play Egmont Overture by Beethoven. Live from Raploch in Stirling.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p00v45gc
Web Exclusive: Egmont OvertureThe Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra and members of the Big Noise Orchestra play Egmont Overture by Beethoven. Live from Raploch in Stirling.