A reconstruction of Beethoven's Macbeth Overture on a Synthesizer
Beethoven's unfinished overture for Shakespeare's Tragedy `Macbeth'
-- Something wicked this way comes ---
Beethoven's unfinished overture on the subject of `Macbeth' was reconstructed by a Dutch composer, Willem Holsbergen, using a computer program. It had its world premiere by the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington twelve years ago.
In 1810, Beethoven started working on the overture to Shakespeare's Macbeth with an Austrian librettist, Joachim Collin. It was complained to Beethoven that the music sounder rather gloomy. The project was abandoned by the ever moody Beethoven and shortly later, Collin died.
Working with some Beethoven experts, Holsbergen took some sketches of the piece dispersed in Europe by few enthusiastic souvenir hunters after Beethoven's death.
Holsbergen began with the help of some notes from a sketchbook found in Bonn.
Using a special computer program, Holsbergen typed in notes from Beethoven's sketches that were then converted electronically into music.
Leonard Slatkin conducted the National Symphony Orchestra for the premiere of this overture. Despite certain scholars running this overture down as a sketchy one, it is interesting to absorb the emotions felt by Beethoven concerning Macbeth.