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Egmont Overture (arr Tobani)

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Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven (tr. Theodore Moses Tobani)


General Info

Year: 1810 / 1900
Duration: c. 8:30
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: LudwigMasters Music Publications
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $45.00   |   Score Only (print) - $5.00

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Instrumentation

Full Score
D-flat Piccolo
C Piccolo/Flute III
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
Cornets I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
E-flat Horn I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Timpani
Bass Drum (ad lib.)


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

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. 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 a 16th-century Dutch nobleman, the Count of Egmont. The plot of Egmont is set in 16th century Netherlands, where Count Egmont becomes leader of a revolt against Spanish despotism. When the Duke of Alba is dispatched to the low countries to suppress the rebellion, Egmont becomes the champion of independence, for which he pays with his life. The opening chords of the overture have been interpreted to represent the weight of Spanish oppression. The main section of the work describes the rapidly developing rebellion, and the close of the work proclaims victory for the forces of freedom.

The music was composed during the period of the Napoleonic Wars, at a time when the French Empire had extended its domination over most 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 later became an unofficial anthem of the 1956 Hungarian revolution.

The overture, powerful and expressive, is one of the last works of his middle period; it has become as famous a composition as the Coriolan Overture, and is in a similar style to the Fifth Symphony, which he had completed two years earlier.

- Program Note from Wikipedia and Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music


This overture clearly represents Beethoven as a political liberal and a champion of the oppressed. Based on a tragedy by Goethe, Beethoven's work is intended as incidental music for the play which was produced in Vienna in 1810. The plot relates to the Dutch patriot Count Egmont, one of the leaders of the revolt against the tyrannical Duke of Alva, who is sent to suppress the budding succession of the Netherlands from Spain. Egmont is treacherously seized and condemned to public execution. Asleep in prison, he dreams of his own beloved Clarchen. She tells him that in ding he will secure the eventual victory of his people and be hailed as a conqueror. He awakens, the soldiers enter, and they lead him to the scaffold. His last words are "Fight for your hearths and homes, and die joyfully – after my example – to save that which you hold most dear."

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

  • Georgia: V
  • South Carolina: VI


Performances

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Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources

  • Beethoven, L.; Tobani, T. (1900). Egmont: Overture [score]. Carl Fischer: New York.
  • Egmont (Beethoven), Wikipedia Accessed 2 July 2016
  • Perusal score
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 45