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Thread: Coriolan

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2009
    Secunderabad, India

    Default Coriolan

    Beethoven's Coriolan Overture is based on the play by Shakespeare as well as the one by Heinrich von Collin to whom the overture is dedicated. It is one of the last tragedies of Shakespeare that is known for its military and political themes. Caius Martius is a proud Roman General who does not hold himself back in displaying his outspoken and arrogant contempt of the Roman extremities. The Tribunes banish him and he raises an army to take his revenge on Rome. He is then given the cognomen or the third name of Coriolanus. He represented political honesty in a corrupt world. The play by Shakespeare was written in 1608.
    Beethoven scored his overture brilliantly with all the subtleties included with a resigned ending on the contrabass pizzicato representing Coriolanus' suicide. The definitive performance of this overture is one attached here by Wilhelm Furtwangler with the Berliner Philharmoniker in the 1943 performance. The timpani accentuation and the crescendo effect has not been achieved by any other conductor after him. Karajan follows next with the Berliner Philharmoniker and the third goes to Otto Klemperer with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London.

  2. #2
    Senior Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    May 2011
    Ottawa Canada
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    All above choices get my vote, though I don't dislike my Karl Bohm/Staatskapelle Dresde vinyl version...

    Honourable mention goes to one you are unlikely to have heard, from a very unlikely source:

    This one curtosy of a 1956 recording by Charles Munch and the Boston SO. French attack, but not French-sounding.

    More versions, including the aforementioned Furtwangler:

  3. #3
    Senior Member Vesteralen's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
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    My personal favorite has always been Sir Adrian Boult on the old Vanguard label with the Philharmonia Promenade Orchestra. I've never heard another performance of this work that has the same drive and forward propulsion. It's just the smallest bit faster than any other version I've heard, and in this particular work that tempo is the only one that works for me.

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