Beethoven and the Heroic ; Part 2: Leonore Notes by Fred Haight
Part 2: Leonore
No-one ever portrayed a woman more heroically then Beethoven. His only opera, Fidelio, is about a woman named Leonore, who courageously disguises herself as a boy, goes into prison, risking her life, in order to rescue her husband, Florestan, who is a political prisoner. The opera was inspired by the real-life story of Adrienne LaFayette, who went into an Austrian prison, to free her husband, The Marquis de LaFayette, a hero of the American Revolution.
An Overture condenses the highlights of the entire opera into a few minutes. Beethoven was so concerned to capture her quality correctly, that he composed three different versions of a Leonore Overture to get it right. We offer here, Leonore 3, in our opinion, the best of the three.
Beethoven’s enthusiasm led to a very long overture, and he ended up composing a fourth, shorter one called the Fidelio Overture. Leonore 3 is so great though, that in the early 20th century, composer/opera conductor Gustav Mahler started using it to introduce the third act of the opera. That practice became standard.
The Schiller Boston Chorus hosted a centennial celebration concert honoring master musician and teacher, Sylvia Olden Lee. We also marked the birthdays of patriots President’s John F. Kennedy (100th) and John Quincy Adams (250th) in this concert of African-American Spirituals, Verdi, Mozart, solo, ensemble, choral music and more held on October 15th in Dorchester, Mass, at the St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. Thank you to the Boston Neighborhood Network for filming the concert. All performances were at the Verdi tuning of C=256.
The program included selections from Life of Christ by Roland Hayes, Robert Schumann’s entire Dichterliebe and operatic arias performed by local artists, Brian and Ana Landry and Christina DeVaughn among others.
30 years ago 0n November 9, 1989, the Berlin wall came down. The anniversary marks a profound moment today where the irreconcilable differences between the hope expressed in 1989, which is embodied now by the New Paradigm, and the doom of geopolitics are coming to odds. The Schiller Institute in NYC celebrated the coincidence of the Fall of the Wall, Schiller’s birthday and the 35 anniversary of the founding of the Schiller Institute with a triumphant demonstration of beauty, outflanking the degenerate culture still dominating political discourse in the United States and Europe. Helga Zepp-LaRouche keynotes the event, followed by musical offerings from Schubert and Brahms and poetry by Schiller and Shakespeare.
A Three-Fold Anniversary
Address by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
Excerpt from video: “The Lost Chance of 1989”
Schubert/Schiller: Die Hoffnung
Michelle Erin, soprano – Margaret Greenspan, piano – Elliot Greenspan, speaker
Schubert/Schiller: An Emma
John Sigerson, tenor – Margaret Greenspan, piano
Shakespeare: Luciana’s Monologue from Comedy of Errors, Act 3, Scene 2
Max Caspar on Kepler as a Philosophical Mind
Schiller: “Die Teilung der Erde”
Schubert/Schober: “An die Musik”
Lisa Bryce, soprano – Richard Cordova, piano
"It is Through Beauty,
That One Proceeds to Freedom"