The model for the work was provided by the legend around the tragic fate of the Ancient Roman hero Coriolanus. Beethoven was referring to the very popular tragedy of the time with the same name by the Austrian writer Heinrich Joseph von Collin. Yet he only composed the overture in 1807, at a time when the play had long since been taken off the programme. Apparently it no longer mattered to the composer whether his music was played in conjunction with the play or not – and he thus wrote one of the earliest and to date best-loved concert overtures in musical history. The text of the Beethoven Complete edition was carefully reviewed for the study edition and there is a new preface.