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Music with Ease > Classical Music > Concert Guide: Classical Era > Overture, "Consecration of the House". Op. 124 (Beethoven)


Overture, "Consecration of the House". Op. 124

Ludwig Van Beethoven
(1770-1827)



The overture "Consecration of the House" is in reality the second overture to "The Ruins of Athens." The success of that allegory at the opening of the New Theater in Pesth led to an adaptation of the same play for the opening of the Josephstadt Theater in Vienna, October 3, 1822. Beethoven revised the music and added a final chorus with violin solo and ballet, besides substituting the new overture for the original one. It is also known as the "Overture in Handel's Style."

The overture opens with an introduction set to the rhythm of a stately festal march, as if heard in the distance. As the imaginary procession approaches nearer, the march intensifies in distinctness and volume, closing with trumpet fanfares and kettle drum beats announcing the arrival. Am imitation passage follows, describing the hurrying and excitement of the crowd by the runs in the bassoon, extending to the violins. The trumpets and drums resume, leading to an interlude connecting with the body of the overture an Allegro in fugato style. The Allegro is long and devoted entirely to the working out of the theme, both in a single and double counterpoint, the theme appearing in the first violins, flute, and oboe, and a counter theme in the second violins and clarinets, the whole coming to a most brilliant and effective close.






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