Beethoven: The Ruins of Athens, Op. 113

The Ruins of Athens, Op. 113, is a set of incidental music pieces written in 1811 by Ludwig van Beethoven. The music was written to accompany the play of the same name by August von Kotzebue, for the dedication of a new theatre at Pest.

A second overture was written in 1822 for the same play. It was composed especially for the reopening of Vienna’s Theater in der Josefstadt in 1822. The second overture is now known as The Consecration of the House.

Perhaps the best-known music from The Ruins of Athens is the Turkish March, a theme that even many who are not avid classical music listeners are familiar with. The overture and the Turkish March are often performed separately, and the other pieces of this set are not often heard[citation needed]. Another of Beethoven’s compositions, Six variations on an original theme, Op. 76, uses the Turkish March as its theme.

The music for The Ruins of Athens was reworked in 1924 by Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

Movements


  1. Overture, Op. 113, (Andante con moto, G minor – Allegro, ma non troppo, G major)
  2. Chorus: Tochter des mächtigen Zeus (Andante poco sostenuto, E-flat major)
  3. Duet (a Greek and a Greek girl): Ohne Verschulden Knechtschaft dulden (Andante con moto – Poco piu mosso, G minor)
  4. Dervish Chorus: Du hast in deines Ärmels Falten (Allegro, ma non troppo – G major)
  5. Turkish March (Vivace – B-flat major)
  6. Music from the back of the stage (Allegro assai ma non troppo – C major)
  7. March with chorus, Op. 114: Schmückt die Altare (Assai moderato – E-flat major)
  8. Recital: Mit reger Freude
  9. Chorus: Wir tragen empfängliche Herzen im Busen (Allegretto ma non troppo – G major)
  10. Aria and Chorus: Will unser Genius noch einen Wunsch gewähren? (Adagio – C major) Er ist’s! Wir sind erhört! (Allegro con brio – C major)
  11. Chorus: Heil unserm König! (Allegro con fuoco – A major)

Performance:

Soprano: Neumar Starling
Baritone: Vladimir de Kanel
Conductor: Hans Hubert Schoenzeler
Berliner Symphoniker, Berliner Konzertchor







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