BEETHOVEN, L. van: Leonore Overture No. 3 (Kubelik)

BEETHOVEN, L. van: Leonore Overture No. 3 (Kubelik)


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- (Disc 1)

Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72b

Venue: Concertgebouw, Amsterdam
Date of Concert: 06-1969
Playing Time: 00:15:44
Television Director: Falck, Ake
Catalogue Number: A05500454

Rafael Kubelik (1914-1996) was the son of the well-known Bohemian violinist Jan Kubelik. He studied music in Prague and made his conducting debut at 20 at the head of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Later he became the principal conductor of this famous orchestra and founded the "Prague Spring" Festival. After the Communist takeover of the government, Kubelik emigrated to the West and returned to his native land only after the end of the Communist regime. From 1950 to 1953 he headed the Chicago Symphony, from 1955 to 1958 he was music director of the Covent Garden Opera in London. A period of great artistic successes began in 1961, when he was appointed principal conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. Many recordings document Kubelik's mastery and sense of artistry, his enjoyment of music and his temperament. His connection with the Munich orchestra lasted 18 years; in between, he also briefly served as music director of New York's Metropolitan Opera. Kubelik retired from the concert staged in 1985. But on the occasion of the first Prague Spring Festival after the fall of Communism in 1990, he returned to the podium of the Czech Philharmonic after more than 40 years in exile and conducted Smetana's My Fatherland cycle. His profound bonds with his native land and its composers were always clearly visible. Rafael Kubelik was a full-blooded musician. Every performance of his radiated a feeling of spontaneity, impulsiveness and joy. Kubelik died in Lucerne in August 1996
at the age of 82 after a long illness.

Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio, was composed about 1803. As do so many of the composer's works, it glorifies the struggle against tyranny and celebrates heroism and humanitarianism. The first performance, which took place in Vienna in 1805, was ill-received; and the opera required 10 years of revision before it was accepted by the public in 1814. Beethoven wrote four overtures to his opera: three are known as the Leonore Overtures (named after the heroine of the opera); the fourth, the Overture to Fidelio, is the version now used as a prelude to the opera. The music of Leonore No. 3 refers to the climax of the story in the last act of Fidelio. Today, it is usually played as an interlude between the second and third acts of the opera.

Part 1

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