Top 50 Favorite Classical – #50 Beethoven Coriolan Overture

I was inspired by a friend on Facebook who created his own series of his top 50 favorite classical music and wanted to create my own. As I compose my music, these are the pieces that inspire me and help shape the kinds of music I compose.

Beethoven shows up three times in my Top 50 Favorite/Best Classical Music list. The reason Coriolan Overture beats out much of the rest of Beethoven’s amazing collection is due in part to how I listened to this overture, tied with the Piano Concerto No. 5 in the Time Life Great Men of Music series. It’s a recording done by Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It’s a fantastic recording, well paced with sharp attacks in the primary theme that set such a great mood and contrast with the melodic secondary theme. The Piano Concerto No. 5 is also done by Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Van Cliburn at the piano. That piece will show up later in the list. I’ve listened to this particular recording of the Coriolan Overture since about 1988 or so. I can’t remember the actual year we bought several of the Time Life Great Men of Music series. But the tape that had the Coriolan Overture followed by the Piano Concerto No. 5 on the front side was, by far, the most played cassette of the series. 

Beethoven creates a beautiful balance between the tensions of a gorgeous melody and conflict to create a powerful stormy introduction. It’s so good, I’ve used this as the start of classical music playlists, especially followed by Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto. I’ve listened to other recordings which take too slow a tempo. This creation needs sharp, fast attacks, which are well handled by Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. You can view the album here

You can also listen to it here

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