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Berlin Philharmonic/Sir Simon Rattle: Beethoven: Fidelio

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Beethoven’s only opera was first heard in 1805 when it bore the title Leonore, the true name of the heroine who disguises herself as a man—Fidelio—to rescue her husband, a political prisoner. A second version appeared in 1806 and a further revision in May 1814, though the composer made further adjustments to the score for a performance in July of the same year. For this recording, Sir Simon Rattle chose the orchestra of which he is now chief conductor and artistic director, the Berlin Philharmonic. This is the second major Beethoven recording for which Rattle has engaged a top-flight modern-instrument orchestra, and has recorded in concert. This recording is taken from concert performances at the Philharmonie in Berlin in April 2003. The 2-CD set is from EMI Classics (www.emiclassics.com). More info: www.berlin-philharmonic.com. —TC

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