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Leonore Overture No. 3 Program Notes and Sheet Music

Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72b:

  • Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
  • Date of Composition: 1806
  • Instrumentation: Orchestra
  • Duration: Approximately 13 minutes


Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72b, was originally the third of four overtures composed for Beethoven's opera Fidelio. The opera was first performed in 1805, but it was not a success. Beethoven revised the opera several times, and he composed new overtures for each revision. The Leonore Overture No. 3 is the overture that is most commonly performed today.

The overture is in sonata form and is divided into three main sections:

  • The introduction: A slow, somber introduction that depicts the oppression of Florestan, the opera's hero, who is unjustly imprisoned.
  • The development: A fast, turbulent section that represents Florestan's struggle for freedom.
  • The recapitulation: A triumphant return of the introduction, which represents Florestan's victory and liberation.


Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3 is a powerful and dramatic work that captures the spirit of Beethoven's opera. The overture is full of beautiful melodies, rich harmonies, and expressive rhythms. Beethoven uses a variety of musical techniques to create a sense of drama, excitement, and triumph.

The overture is a challenging work to perform. It requires a high level of technical skill and musical understanding from the orchestra. However, it is also a rewarding work to perform. The overture is full of beauty, power, and excitement.


Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3 was a critical and popular success when it was first performed. It has since become one of Beethoven's most popular works and is often performed by orchestras and chamber ensembles around the world.

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