The history of Beethoven's only opera, FIDELIO, is rife with twists and turns, among them that the opera was originally to be called LEONORE. Additionally, the opera is unique in that Beethoven composed four different overtures for the work. No. 1 was quickly suppressed by the composer, whereas No. 2 (1805) better resembled the third one to follow in that it conveys the themes of the opera. LEONORE OVERTURE No. 3, Op. 72b was composed in 1806, and remains the most successful of the three LEONORE overtures. In 1814, Beethoven did finally complete an overture that he found suitable, but this was actually referred to as the overture for FIDELIO given the opera's title change. It satisfied Beethoven's vision of a proper curtain-raiser, although, unlike its LEONORE predecessors, it avoids themes from the opera proper. LEONORE OVERTURE No. 3 opens with a solemn, slow introduction, entirely fitting given the lofty themes of personal freedom under review in the opera, distilling the work's essence. Instrumentation in set: 18.104.22.168: 22.214.171.124: Timp: Str (9-8-7-6-5).