Beethoven: Die Ruinen von Athen

Beethoven: Die Ruinen von Athen

by Leif SegerstamLeif Segerstam


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Conductor Leif Segerstam and the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra have released several albums of minor Beethoven works, and in general, they're valuable additions to a Beethoven shelf or hard drive. No one would put "Die Ruinen von Athen, Op. 113" ("The Ruins of Athens"), in the top tier of Beethoven's works, but neither is it a potboiler. The work consists of incidental music for a play by August von Kotzebue, and it includes not only instrumental pieces, but also Singspiel-like spoken dialogue (some of it orchestrally accompanied, which is novel), choruses, recitatives, and narration. This is apparently the first recording of the work to include the latter. The first four tracks on the album pertain to a later revival of the play for the opening of a new theater in Pest (now part of Budapest, Hungary); Beethoven added an overture, now known as "Die Weihe des Hauses, Op. 124," two small choruses, and an aria, all quite rare except for the overture. Much of the music is pretty simple, but Segerstam, as usual, finds the points of interest where this public kind of music fed into Beethoven's late style. The finale of "Die Ruinen von Athen" is particularly interesting with its combination of repeating choruses and little march-like wind passages that looks forward to the finale of the "Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125." Beethoven buffs will welcome this performance of unusual music.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/28/2020
Label: Naxos
UPC: 0747313407675
catalogNumber: 8574076
Rank: 67143


  1. The Ruins of Athens, incidental music, Op. 113
  2. The Ruins of Athens: March & Chorus, for chorus & orchestra, Op. 114
  3. Wo sich die Pulse jugendlich jagen (for the play "Die Weihe des Hauses"), chorus with soprano solo, WoO 98
  4. Die Weihe des Hauses, incidental music, Hess 118: No. 1 Invisible Chorus: Folge dem mächtigen Ruf de
  5. Die Weihe des Hauses (Consecration of the House), overture for orchestra, Op. 124

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