Barenboim on Beethoven 5: The Working Process... Leonore Overtures Nos. 2 and 3
A film by Christopher Nupen
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In this fifth chapter of Christopher Nupen’s Barenboim on Beethoven series, Barenboim turns his attention to the Leonore Overtures Nos. 2 and 3, elucidating the path that Beethoven took from one to the other and the musical reasons for his revisions. Beethoven, as Barenboim points out, almost never rewrote his work, but his opera Fidelio (originally called Leonore) went through many modifications before finding the form in which it is most commonly performed today. Barenboim explains why the Leonore Overture No. 3, often performed as a concert piece, is “a perfect instrumental music drama in its own right … [and] one of [Beethoven’s] greatest symphonic movements,” an exquisitely constructed masterpiece in which “the music unfolds its own destiny.”