Beethoven - Leonora, Clemens Krauss

Band/Record: Beethoven - Leonora

Label/Matrix: UK 1956 DECCA LW 5164

Condition Record/Sleeve: Mint-/EX

Extra Info: Fantastic 10" ...Original UK press ... Wow .. minty dream audio ...

The overture now known as Leonora No. 2, as presented here, was the first of several Beethoven wrote for the opening of his opera Fidelio, first produced in Vienna in November 1805 with the title Leonora. A larger second version, known as Leonora Overture No. 3, was written for a 1806 performance (the original 1805 being unsuccessful), whilst a third revision of the opera in 1814 gave rise to the new music of the Fidelio Overture - though this was not played at the opening night of the revival (the opera by now having the title 'Fidelio'). At last Beethoven had a success on his hands, though after such a long struggle it is little surprise that this was his sole opera.

In case you're thinking at this point that something appears to be missing, another version of the overture, slimmed down from No. 3 and now known as Leonora No.1, was prepared for a planned performance in Prague in 1807 which never took place...

This recording, made in Vienna in March 1954, was among the very last by the legendary conductor Clemens Krauss (above), who died just two months later on May 16th at the age of 61.