Beethoven wrote a total of four overtures for his only opera, “Leonore”/ “Fidelio”. The so-called Leonore Overture no. 1 is third in the series by chronology, having been written in 1806/07 for a performance in Prague that never materialised. For a long while it was erroneously regarded as a predecessor to the Leonore Overture no. 2 that Beethoven discarded, which greatly tarnished its reception. And yet it pays off to take an impartial look at this overture, which is substantially shorter than nos. 2 and 3, since with its more lyrical than dramatic character, it casts a new light on Beethoven’s struggle to find the ideal opening to his stage work. Featuring a new preface, it now appears as a study edition prepared on the basis of the musical text of the Beethoven Complete Edition.