Beethoven – Coriolan Overture (Op 62)

The Coriolanus Overture (German: Ouvertüre Coriolan, Op. 62) written in 1807 to Heinrich Joseph von Collin‘s 1804 tragedy.
The structure and themes of the overture follow the play very generally. The main C minor theme represents Coriolanus’ resolve and war-like tendencies (he is about to invade Rome), while the more tender E-flat major theme represents the pleadings of his mother to desist. Coriolan eventually gives in to tenderness, but since he cannot turn back having led an army of his former enemies to Rome’s gates, he kills himself. It was premiered in March of 1807 at a private concert of the home of Prince Franz Joseph von Lobkowitz. The Symphony No. 4 in B flat and the Piano Concerto No. 4 in G were premiered in that same concert.

Thielemann‘s holding back of the tempo in the main theme of the Coriolan Overture may be a bit overdone. In all performances the Vienna Philharmonic play with accuracy and total commitment. The camera-work is excellent throughout the performances and the sound vivid and powerful.


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