Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 3, Leonore Overture – London Symphony Orchestra, Bernard Haitink (2006)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:04:19 minutes | 1,23 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: Qobuz | Digital Booklet | © LSO Live
Recorded live on 16, 17 and 21, 22 November 2005 at the Barbican, London
Much is made of the revolutionary nature of Beethoven’s Third Symphony. It marked the transition to a more complex symphonic world for the composer, and simultaneously embodied his admiration for the ideals of the French revolution: the symphony’s one-time dedicatee was Napoleon Bonaparte.
Napoleon had to be erased from the symphony’s title page once his overweening imperial ambition became known. It also suited Beethoven to ditch the reference, given that he could then earn a royal patron’s fee from another quarter (the ultimate dedicatee is Prince Joseph Franz Maximilian Lobkowitz). The concept of the third symphony as something ‘heroic’ nonetheless remained, and its published title became the ‘Sinfonia eroica’ instead of ‘the Bonaparte’.
The work is rightly admired for its ground-breaking attributes, formal innovations and harmonic shocks, but this particular recording has another revolutionary dimension. No stranger to Beethoven symphonies, Bernard Haitink took a completely new approach to this cycle, adopting more daring Beethovenian tempi as well as reining in the customarily full sound of the symphony orchestra to something sparer. The rhythmic audacity and percussive qualities of the work are that much clearer as a result, the reading nimbler. If Napoloen was the hidden hero of the symphony, the time in which he lived feels that much closer with this fabulously vigorous interpretation.
Beethoven’s opera ‘Fidelio’ was subject to revision a number of times and the composer wrote a total of four overtures for it. Only one of them became the official Fidelio overture, the other three bearing the title ‘Leonora”, an allusion to the opera’s heroine. Leonora Overture No. 2 was written for the performance of Fidelio in 1805, not quite two years after the completion of the Eroica. It makes an interesting foil for the symphony. -James Mallinson, LSO Live Producer
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Symphony No 3 in E flat major ‘Eroica’ Op 55
1 Allegro con brio[17’49]
2 Marcia funebre: Adagio assai[14’22]
3 Scherzo: Allegro vivace[5’54]
4 Finale: Allegro molto – Poco andante – Presto[11’06]
5 Leonore Overture No 2[15’00]
London Symphony Orchestra
Bernard Haitink, conductor