1810: Beethoven: Egmont Overture

SATURDAY, November 7, 2020 – 8:59 AM

Egmont Overture, age 39


  • 2 flutes (2nd doubles piccolo), 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons
  • 4 horns, 2 trumpets
  • timpani
  • strings In the play

Andrés Orozco-Estrada

The sound here is unique. You can hear the sound reverberate because of all the stone. It gives a very “wet” sound, meaning that the sound just bounces around so very “live”.

Another story of fighting for freedom

Count Egmont is a Dutch resistance fighter bent on the liberation of his country from Spanish occupation.

The overture is a part of something much longer

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.

But today we mostly only here the overture

It has become as famous a composition as the Coriolan Overture and is in a style similar to the Fifth Symphony, which he had completed two years earlier.


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