Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827) Leonore Op. 72 – Overture No. 2
of the opera [orch] duration: 13'
220.127.116.11. – 18.104.22.168. – timp – str
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Despite the numbering, the overture Leonore No. 2 was Beethoven’s first effort to precede his only opera with an adequate introduction. It had been composed last minute and in between the rehearsals for the premiere of the opera Leonore oder Der Triumph der ehelichen Liebe (Leonore, or The Triumph of Marital Love) on 20 November 1805 at the Theater an der Wien. This comprehensive, programmatic work was met with incomprehension at first performances just like the opera itself. Beethoven felt compelled to re-write Leonore completely and presented it under its new title "Fidelio". In 1806 he revised the overture to such an extent that a symphonic sonata movement emerged; with another incorrect numbering, Leonore No. 3 has gone down in music history and above all it has achieved a regular place in concert repertory. And in order to complete the confusion: written in 1806/07, only Overture “No. 1” is Beethoven’s chronologically last effort to write an overture for Leonore, before he – many years later – put an end to this infinite subject with the so-called Fidelio overture for the third version of the opera. After all, thanks to the search after a dramaturgically convincing beginning of the opera, the music world has been enriched by four quite different orchestra scores.
The music text of the present score is based on Volume 11 of the “Supplements to the Complete Edition”. The performance material of the Fidelio and Leonore No. 3 overtures is available in “Breitkopf Urtext” editions.