View Poll Results: If you were given full artistic control in a performance of Fidelio, which overture w

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  • Leonora no. 1

    0 0%
  • Leonora no. 2

    1 20.00%
  • Leonora no. 3

    1 20.00%
  • "Fidelio" overture, op. 72b

    3 60.00%
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Thread: Overtures to Fidelio - so many to choose from...

          
   
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Involved Member itywltmt's Avatar
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    Question Overtures to Fidelio - so many to choose from...

    From wikipedia...

    Beethoven struggled to produce an appropriate overture for Fidelio, and ultimately went through four versions. His first attempt, for the 1805 premiere, is believed to have been the overture now known as "Leonore No. 2". Beethoven then focused this version for the performances of 1806, creating "Leonore No. 3". The latter is considered by many listeners as the greatest of the four overtures, but as an intensely dramatic, full-scale symphonic movement it had the effect of overwhelming the (rather light) initial scenes of the opera. Beethoven accordingly experimented with cutting it back somewhat, for a planned 1808 performance in Prague; this is believed to be the version now called "Leonore No. 1". Finally, for the 1814 revival Beethoven began anew, and with fresh musical material wrote what we now know as the Fidelio overture. As this somewhat lighter overture seems to work best of the four as a start to the opera, Beethoven's final intentions are generally respected in contemporary productions.

    Gustav Mahler introduced the practice, common until the middle of the twentieth century, of performing "Leonore No. 3" between the two scenes of the second act. In this location, it acts as a kind of musical reprise of the rescue scene that has just taken place. A new, modern-styled production that premiered in Budapest in October 2008, for example, features the "Leonore No. 3" overture in this location.
    Let me ask the question this way: if you were given full artistic control in a performance of Fidelio, which overture would you use as the curtain riser? Maybe some thoughts on using (as it is often done) more than one - if not all - during the performance...

  2. #2
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    I think the lighter Fidelio to start with, and the gorgeous Leonore No. 3 as an intermezzo is the way to go.
    By the way, even thought these works became concert pieces, it's still operatic music.

  3. #3
    Schigolch
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    Leonore II, and no other piece used as 'intermezzo'.

  4. #4
    Schigolch
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    Moved to "General Operatic Discussion".

  5. #5
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    I'd still go with the 1814 Fidelio overture for a performance of this final version of the opera. But I love the other three as well -- as I love earlier versions of the opera.

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  7. #6
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    I prefer the overture that goes with the version. So I think between the three versions (1805, 1806, and 1814) we can hear all four overtures as somehow the three Leonore overtures fit among the 1805 and 1806 versions. I do not like the insertion of the Lenore overture between the duet and finale as it disrupts things, although it does make sense to have a transition, but I read Beethoven wanted a few seconds of silence between those two parts. I cut it from all my recordings, even videos if possible.

    6-year-old thread, but would be interesting to hear what others' think. There is the Barenboim set with Waltraud Meier and Placido Domingo where Barenboim begins the 1814 Fidelio with the Leonore #2 overture and includes the other three at the end of the recording (so people like me can switch in the Fidelio overture if we wish). Barenboim omits the dialog though.
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  8. #7
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    In staged performances, the Leonore III overture is often inserted between the two scenes of Act II (with curtain closed) to allow the stage crews time to change the scenery . . . and perhaps conceal the sound of them doing so. (Good luck with those moments of silence, Ludwig!) On Kurt Masur's studio recording with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. the standard 1814 overture is played at the beginning and the Leonore III added after the conclusion of the opera.

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  10. #8
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAuer View Post
    In staged performances, the Leonore III overture is often inserted between the two scenes of Act II (with curtain closed) to allow the stage crews time to change the scenery . . . and perhaps conceal the sound of them doing so. (Good luck with those moments of silence, Ludwig!) On Kurt Masur's studio recording with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. the standard 1814 overture is played at the beginning and the Leonore III added after the conclusion of the opera.
    We simply need a stage on a turntable so that the next scene can be rotated into place in less than 7 seconds.
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

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  12. #9
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) View Post
    I think the lighter Fidelio to start with, and the gorgeous Leonore No. 3 as an intermezzo is the way to go.
    By the way, even thought these works became concert pieces, it's still operatic music.
    That makes sense since the beginning of the opera is very light hearted and frivolous vs the latter parts where it becomes very dark.
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  13. Likes Ann Lander (sospiro) liked this post

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