Beethoven – “Leonore” Overture No. 3

by Max Derrickson

Ludwig van Beethoven

“Leonore” Overture No. 3, Op. 72a

Leonore is the heroine of Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio. Dressed as a boy under the nom-de-guerre “Fidelio,” Leonore courageously rescues her husband from the prison [. . .]

The most loved of the four overtures, No. 3 borrows primarily from the beautiful aria in which the prisoner, Florestan, beseeches the heavens for freedom. One of the overture’s most profound moments is the off-stage trumpet calls heralding Florestan’s release. That Leonore No. 3 lends itself to being performed independently as a concert piece is a credit to Beethoven’s sense of form and drama. [. . .] ” Leonore No. 3 is “less an overture to a music drama than a music drama itself.”