Andante con moto - Presto
King Stephen overture and incidental music by Ludwig van Beethoven belongs to Hungary for its dramatic setting. August von Kotzebue composed the text for this incidental music. The music was presented on the occasion of the opening of a German language theater in Pest, Hungary. It was written in August 1811. There are falling fourths that are heard at the opening of the overture and recur later at the recapitulation. A woodwind tune of Hungarian tones comes in dolce to introduce Hungary's national hero. In the overture, Beethoven uses a juxtaposition with a theme that comes again in his opening movement of the Choral Symphony.
The music is played brilliantly by Herbert von Karajan with Berliner Philharmoniker and choir.