Recitative and Aria, 'Ach, brich noch nicht-Komm, Hoffnung', from 1806 version of Leonore, Hess 110 nr. 8, mp3 version (5.147 mB)

Recitative and Aria, 'Ach, brich noch nicht-Komm, Hoffnung', from 1806 version of Leonore, Hess 110 nr. 8, mp3 version (5.147 mB)
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Performer: Willem
Length: 5:26
Recitative and Aria, 'Ach, brich noch nicht-Komm, Hoffnung', from 1806 version of Leonore, Hess 110 nr. 8
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Author: Willem
Length: 5:26
Hess 110 nr.8, Recitative and Aria "Ach, brich noch nicht" from the 1806 version of Leonore.

After the failure of the performances of Leonore in November 1805, Beethoven reworked his opera and produced it again in April 1806. Many thought the 1805 version too long, and friends pressed Beethoven to make cuts. This was very much against the instincts of Beethoven the musician. And he was right: the longwindedness was not so much the fault of the music, but rather of the libretto, which, in the first act, lingers on the domestic arrangements of the Rocco household.

Nevertheless, Beethoven did reluctantly make some cuts. Making cuts in his own music turned out to be very difficult, as he would testify in 1814 in a letter to Treitschke when he was working on the third and final version of his opera. The reason for these difficulties lies probably in the fact that in Beethoven's music the details are closely linked to the whole, and cutting some details means running the risk of the structure-as-a-whole getting distorted or even collapsing.

An example of such a distortion we can see in the big Leonore aria "Ach brich noch nicht". The main difference in the 1806 version is a modest cut of some 15 bars shortly before the end of the aria. In these bars Leonore has to sing some longish coloraturas. Now, some may think that cutting soprano coloraturas is always a good idea, but in this case it seems to have a detrimental effect. After the cut had been made, Leonore's regained optimism in the final six bars seems to come out of nowhere. Also the triplets in the bassoon, an echo of the coloraturas, have now lost their motivation.

>>>Recitative<<<

Ach, brich noch nicht, du mattes Herz!
Du hast in Schreckenstagen mit jedem Schlag
ja neuen Schmerz und bange Angst ertragen.
Ach, brich noch nicht,
ach, brich noch nicht, du mattes Herz!

>>>Aria (Adagio)<<<

O Hoffnung, o komm!
Hoffnung! O komm!
Komm, Hoffnung, lass den letzten Stern
der Mueden nicht erbleichen!
Komm, o komm, erhell' ihr Ziel, sey's noch so fern,
die Liebe, die Liebe wird's erreichen,
ja, ja, sie wird's erreichen.
Komm, o komm,
Komm, o Hoffnung, lass den letzten Stern
der Mueden nicht erbleichen!
Erhell' ihr Ziel, sey's noch so fern,
die Liebe, die Liebe wird's erreichen
die Liebe wird's erreichen.

>>>(Allegro con brio)<<<

O du, o du, fuer den ich alles trug,
koennt ich zur Stelle dringen
wo Bosheit dich in Fesseln schlug,
und suessen Trost dir bringen,
und suessen Trost dir bringen!

Ich folg' dem innern Triebe,
ich wanke nicht,
mich staerkt die Pflicht der treuen Gattenliebe,
ich wanke nicht, nein, ich wanke nicht,
mich staerkt die Pflicht der treuen Gattenliebe.

O du, o du, fuer den ich alles trug,
koennt ich zur Stelle dringen
wo Bosheit dich in Fesseln schlug,
und suessen Trost dir bringen!

O du, fuer den ich alles trug,
koennt ich zur Stelle dringen
wo Bosheit dich in Fesseln schlug
koennt ich zur Stelle dringen
ach, koennt ich zur Stelle dringen!

Ich folg' dem innern Triebe,
ich wanke nicht,
mich staerkt die Pflicht der treuen Gattenliebe,
ich folg' dem innern Triebe,
ich wanke nicht, nein, nein, ich wanke nicht,
mich staerkt die Pflicht der treuen Gattenliebe,
der treuen Gattenliebe!


>>>Translation:<<<

>>>Recitative<<<
Ah, don't break yet, my numb heart!
You have suffered in days of terror
with every blow new pain and fear.

>>>Aria (Adagio)<<<
Come, Hope, let not your last star
Be eclipsed in despair!
O come, light me my goal, however far,
That love may attain it.

>>>(Allegro con brio)<<<
O you for whom I've borne so much,
If I could but reach the place
Where hatred has imprisoned you,
To bring you consolation!

I follow a voice within me,
Unwavering,
And am strengthened
By the faith of wedded love.


Hess: 110


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