Maestro Minute Archives
Here are some thoughts about our upcoming music
“The most powerful single movement work in the repertoire “
(Or how not to simplify an overture)
After the opera Fidelio bombed Beethoven and his friends held a wake during which they gave him advice, which on this rare occasion he heeded, about making this great music more accessible to the audience.
As for the overture (Leonore No. 2) they said “simplify, simplify…shorten, shorten”. So Beethoven went to work with a vengeance!
Leonore No. 2 is 521 bars (Measures) long
FIRST: He cut the introduction from 46 bars, to 36, saving over a minute.
SECOND: He cut 99 measures off the exposition and came to the Trumpet call which announces the arrival of the minister.
He was so pleased with himself that instead of using the 110 bar ending of No 2 he added a development and recapitulation totaling 337 measures
THEREFORE: Leonore No. 3, after being “shortened”, is 638 bars (Measures) instead of 521 bars long for Leonore No. 2
Leonore no 3 is often played during the massive scene change in act 2 of the opera.
Here is Most at Salzburg performed during the scene change.
These are 2 recordings with the score (No. 3 not my favorite)
Leonore No. 2 Abbado, Vienna Philharmonic
Leonore No. 3 Nanut, Radio-Symphony Vienna
Some other interesting recording of Leonore 3
Furtwangler/Vienna setting a speed record
Von Karajan/Berlin A good performance