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Roman Tragedy, Soaring Themes

Roman Tragedy, Soaring Themes

We open our first concert of our Symphonic Blockbusters season with Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture. This exciting overture reflects the drama of the story behind it. In 1802, he saw Heinrich Joseph von Collin’s play, Coriolan, based on one of Shakespeare’s less frequently performed tragedies, Coriolanus. The play was popular for a short time in 1802 and then faded from the stage. However, in 1807, it had a one-night revival at the palace of Beethoven’s patron, Prince Lobkowitz, solely for the introduction of Beethoven’s overture. The music shows the turbulence of Coriolanus’ nature, and also the gentler side of Coriolanus’ mother.

The play is about a Roman general (Coriolanus) who successfully protected the city from invasion by the Volscians, even though he considers Roman citizens to be greedy and corrupt. After his election to the Roman senate, he’s exiled for refusing to listen to the wishes of the public. He then offers his military skills to the Volscians, leads them to the gates of Rome and lays siege to the city. The senate sends Coriolanus’s wife and mother to beg with her son to make peace with Rome, so he calls off the siege. In Shakespeare’s play, he’s then surrounded and killed by the Volscian soldiers, but in von Collin’s version, he takes his own life.

Coriolanus

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Musical Insights

Free Pre-Concert Preview Series!

Enhance your concert experience with a sneak preview — Composers come alive and their passions take center stage when ESO General Manager David Ellis and ESO Maestro Lawrence Eckerling take you on an insider’s tour of the history and highlights behind the music.

Meet our soloist, William Hagen, at Musical Insights. He and our Maestro Lawrence Eckerling and David Ellis will explore the October concert program in depth.

The Merion
Friday, October 20 at 1:30 pm,
The Merion Crystal Ballroom at
1611 Chicago Avenue at Davis Street, Evanston.
FREE and open to the public.

Light refreshments will be served and casual tours of newly renovated apartments will be available after the program.