Some Classical pieces have truly show-stopping premières. When Ludwig van Beethoven lifted the curtains for the first night of his only opera, Fidelio, he revealed a story of personal sacrifice, heroism and eventual triumph so similar to his own.
The opera tells how Leonore, disguised as a prison guard named Fidelio, rescues her husband Florestan from death in a political prison. Leading the performance despite his increasing deafness, Beethoven could not have known that a certain young boy in the audience who had sold his school books to buy his ticket would go on to become the prolific Franz Schubert.
Featuring Beethoven's Overture to Fidelio, this recording also includes his sumptuous Symphony No. 3 in E Flat with its poignant Marcia Funebre.
For more classical operatic arias, try our recommendations with this Playlist.