Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 3

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  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Instrumentation: Orchestra
  • ISMN: 979-000656659-4
  • Size: 9.6 x 12.2 inches
  • Pages: 50
  • Urtext / Critical Edition


Of the four overtures that Beethoven composed for his only opera, the "Leonore Overture" No. 3 is the most popular. The first reviewer found fault with it for its "incessant dissonances and overblown fluttering of the violins" (Wiener Theater-Zeitung, 1806), but it soon became famous as "one of the most imposing, difficult, yet richest and strangest of compositions" (Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, 1810). This version of the "Leonore Overture" quickly established itself independently of the stage in the concert hall and has found a lasting place in the symphonic repertoire.

The editor has devoted herself to the complex genesis of the various "Leonore Overture" versions, in particular the question whether the trumpet call in measures 272–277 and 294–299 should be played by one or two instruments.