BEETHOVEN'S “LEONORE” AND “FIDELIO”

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lennygoran
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BEETHOVEN'S “LEONORE” AND “FIDELIO”

Post by lennygoran » Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:20 am

I'm having trouble zeroing in on the differences in these 2 works-I'm not talking about the overtures or that for Leonore the French were occupiers in 1805 and it wasn't popular and that the aristocrats came back to Vienna in 1814 and Fidelio was well received. What I'd like to know is are there musical differences beyond the overtures and are there any plot differences that would make seeing Leonore worth seeing-I love Fidelio. Regards, Len

barney
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Re: BEETHOVEN'S “LEONORE” AND “FIDELIO”

Post by barney » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:34 pm

I believe the differences are reasonably extensive. Beethoven had a new librettist for Fidelio. The ending is different and, IIRC, there is no prisoners' chorus in Leonore. There's an essay on it in the new Beethoven 2020 set, which I hope to consult for you, Len. :D

John F
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Re: BEETHOVEN'S “LEONORE” AND “FIDELIO”

Post by John F » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:19 pm

In effect, Beethoven recomposed "Leonore" and named it "Fidelio" to distinguish his new version. Even when the changes in a particular number aren't radical they are still very audible. That said, I think "Fidelio" is superior in every way; Beethoven was wise to rework the score.
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: BEETHOVEN'S “LEONORE” AND “FIDELIO”

Post by lennygoran » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:41 pm

barney wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:34 pm
I believe the differences are reasonably extensive. Beethoven had a new librettist for Fidelio. The ending is different and, IIRC, there is no prisoners' chorus in Leonore. There's an essay on it in the new Beethoven 2020 set, which I hope to consult for you, Len. :D

Barney thanks-that info would be helpful as to whether we buy tickets. Regards, Len


Leonore (1805)
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN, composer
JOSEPH SONNLEITHNER, librettist

The centerpiece of Opera Lafayette’s 25th-anniversary season is Beethoven’s Leonore (1805), the composer’s first version of his opera Fidelio. The company’s first opera sung in German and its largest production to date, these performances are the culmination of Opera Lafayette’s Leonore Project, which aims to recapture the origins of this touchstone of the operatic canon.

The story of bravery and injustice speaks to us today. A wife disguised as a man seeks to rescue her husband, wrongfully imprisoned and awaiting his death. The score, filled with heartbreaking arias, delightful love duets, and transcendent choral and instrumental works, is recognized as among the most powerful opera compositions.

The season’s production of the Beethoven’s Leonore follows the company’s 2017 modern premiere of Gaveaux and Bouilley’s Léonore, ou L’Amour conjugal (1798), which was released earlier this year on DVD on the Naxos label. Drawing from memories of Opera Lafayette’s acclaimed performance or after watching the DVD, audiences will have a unique opportunity to hear the closer relationship between these two works.

Performances sung in German

https://operalafayette.org/current-season

The brochure I got said there will be english supertitles even though the website doesn't say that. It will be performed at the Kaye playhouse March 2 7PM


https://operalafayette.secure.force.com ... 00yp5djEAA

barney
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Re: BEETHOVEN'S “LEONORE” AND “FIDELIO”

Post by barney » Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:38 pm

I didn't get a chance yesterday, Len, and will try to do it this afternoon my time. But if you know and love Fidelio, I'd certainly buy tickets. It will be fascinating to hear the differences. Often we may not know precisely HOW it's different, but our subconscious ears tell us that it is. Everything I have read tells me John is right, that Fidelio is vastly superior. It has two of the most noble bits of music in opera for me, the Act I quartet, Mir is so wunderbar, and the prisoners' chorus.

Quartet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9l1wKCv9nE

Chorus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdB0roPqg7Q
Last edited by barney on Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

lennygoran
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Re: BEETHOVEN'S “LEONORE” AND “FIDELIO”

Post by lennygoran » Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:55 pm

barney wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:38 pm
I didn't get a chance yesterday, Len, and will try to do it this afternoon my time.
Barney thanks-if you find more info I'd love to have it-btw I just bought tickets--haven't been to the Kaye Playhouse in years. Regards, Len

barney
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Re: BEETHOVEN'S “LEONORE” AND “FIDELIO”

Post by barney » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:41 am

Len, apologies. Our power went out early afternoon and has just been restored. No computer. Or indeed music. A tree fell on a power line in strong winds.
Tomorrow I have a medical appointment in the morning, lunch with friends, and Gounod's Faust in the evening. It's looking good for Thursday though...

lennygoran
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Re: BEETHOVEN'S “LEONORE” AND “FIDELIO”

Post by lennygoran » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:51 am

barney wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:41 am
Len, apologies. Our power went out early afternoon and has just been restored. No computer. Or indeed music. A tree fell on a power line in strong winds.
Tomorrow I have a medical appointment in the morning, lunch with friends, and Gounod's Faust in the evening. It's looking good for Thursday though...
Barney don't worry-the opera is in March-right now the power issue is most important for you-we had one back on an October date the year before Sandy and lost power for 8 days-it was terrible and we bought a standby generator after that-Sandy also had a 8 day power outage for many but with our generator we were saved. I still think of the amount of food we had to throw out from our freezers. Best wishes for a full return. Regards, Len

barney
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Re: BEETHOVEN'S “LEONORE” AND “FIDELIO”

Post by barney » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:43 am

Thank you, Len - that's a characteristically generous reply. As you can see by the fact that I am posting, the power is back. It's 3.42am here and I can't sleep, a common predicament with age. 8 days would be just awful.

lennygoran
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Re: BEETHOVEN'S “LEONORE” AND “FIDELIO”

Post by lennygoran » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:09 pm

barney wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:43 am
the power is back.
Barney great news! Regards, Len

barney
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Re: BEETHOVEN'S “LEONORE” AND “FIDELIO”

Post by barney » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:10 am

Len, from the notes on the stage section of the Beethoven 2020 set, an essay by John Eliot Gardiner. Isolated extracts.

Leonore/Fidelio has always been unclassifiable as an opera, criticised for its lack of Mozartian theatrical fluency, yet venerated for its high moral tone and the nobility of its Utopian vision. "Of all my children, this is the one that gave me the worth birth-pangs, the one that brought me the most sorrows," Beethoven is reported to have said weeks before his death. ... His single opera has a unique appeal and a magic very much of its own - especially in its first version, the Leonore of 1804-05, where is his ideas, while sometimes crude, are at their most radical.
Leonore has had its advocates over the years, and a scattering of performances, yet the prevailing opinion has been that whereas Leonore is a fascinating, if flawed, first draft, the 1814 version has rightfully displaced Beethoven's earlier efforts. Not only is it musically superior but, more importantly, it alone boasts the distinctive moral pathos that separates Fidelio from all other works for the lyric theatre. I disagree. One cannot draw up a neat profit and loss account to establish which of Beethoven's extant versions of his single opera is musically superior or dramatically the more convincing. Leonore, disastrously performed in Vienna in 1805, was part of an ongoing process of creation and experimentation which led ultimately to those two epic works, the Missa solemnis and the Ninth Symphony. By the time Beethoven made his final drastic revisions of the opera in 1814 the mood of the times had changed, both on the international stage and in terms of his own philosophical development.
With the Leonore of 1804, Beethoven was struggling to recover the fiery revolutionary fervour and idealism of his Bonn years, after the relatively cosy and success-attended time he had been having in Vienna. If Leonore could be said to spring from that self which continually searches for the ideal in the face of fear, Fidelio, by contrast, represents Beethoven's more settled, static response to tyranny and injustice, freedom and self-sacrifice. Whereas one is spontaneous and immediate, the other is retrospective and considered.
What strikes me so forcibly about Leonore in its first incarnation is its power and purity of emotion. True, its narrative unfolds at a slower pace and the music at time threatens to clog the wheels of the drama. But not even the most perfect subsequent retouching in Fidelio can compensate for the loss of that immediacy of expression. Portraits of both the hero and heroine, so poignantly drawn in 1805, are smudged in 1814 in the interests of universalism. ... While as a musician I can easily succumb to the sheer beauty of the new music written for Fidelio, nothing, I find, can compare with Beethoven's original response to his material in 1805.
The truth of the matter is that Leonore and Fidelio were the product of separate thoughts, moods and times.

Len, this is perhaps 10% of John Eliot Gardiner's essay in the notes, but I hope it helps persuade you that Leonore is well worth the money you have decided to spend. :D

lennygoran
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Re: BEETHOVEN'S “LEONORE” AND “FIDELIO”

Post by lennygoran » Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:34 am

Barney thanks so much for this-I'm passing ot along to Sue as well. BTW we didn't spend too much for the tickets-$30 a piece. Your effort in getting me this is much appreciated! Len

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