Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Egmont Ouverture by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), precedes a set of pieces of incidental music composed between October 1809 and June 1810 for Egmont, a play by Goethe, a writer highly esteemed by Beethoven himself. The play narrates the heroic life of the Egmont, the Flemish hero, and Beethoven’s music is impelled by Egmont’s conviction — and Beethoven’s — that death doesn’t necessarily means the end of the man when his ideals remain unaltered. This Ouverture, written at the height of the Napoleonic campaigns, is stylistically close to Symphony n.5 composed by Beethoven two years earlier. Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) spent no less than 15 years to write the four movements of his Symphony n.1 in C minor op.68. The first essays date back to 1854, but the premiere occurred only in November 1876. Given its similarities, it was initially branded as ‘Beethoven’s Tenth’, something that unnerved Brahms since he considered his work a mere tribute to the Master of Bonn.