Fidelio, op. 72: Overture (1814 version, sometimes Op. 72c)
This is the Overture for the Opera Fidelio. It was written in 1814 and was first played in public at the second performance of (the third revised version) Fidelio at the "Kärtnertortheater" in Vienna (Beethoven couldn't finish in time for the premiere).
As it was written last of all the overtures for Fidelio (Leonore no. 1 was never offically part of Fidelio and released later seperately as Op. 138) it was assigned the 'highest version number' Op. 72c in some catalogues. Since it became the 'official' Overture (since it is the result of the final revision) it just became Op. 72 in many work listings.
The Opera Fidelio (Op. 72) was performed first in 1805 and is often refered to as "Leonore" in its early years. There were 4 different Overtures composed for this Opera. The Overture performed at the premiere in 1805 is named "Leonore No. 2" (Op. 72a) and was revised and performed one year later as "Leonore No. 3" (Op. 72b). After the French war and the retreat from the french troops from Austria the Opera was revised again and premiered with the Overture "Fidelio" in 1814 and became the final, official version.
Because of all the revisions of Fidelio there is no consistent numbering for all different revisions used by the labels. So this specific Overture is sometimes known as "Op. 72: Overture", "Op. 72b" and "Op. 72c".
This is the most common numbering of the Fidelio Overtures:
- Opus 72: Fidelio Overture (1814) - normal playtime 6-8 minutes
- Opus 72a: Leonore Overture "No. 2" (1805) - normal playtime 13-16 minutes
- Opus 72b: Leonore Overture "No. 3" (1806) - normal playtime 12-15 minutes
- Opus 138: Leonore Overture "No. 1" (written 1805, first performed 1828) - normal playtime 9-11 minutes
The initial tempo marking is "Allegro".
Ludwig van Beethoven (1814)
Fidelio, op. 72 (1814 version)