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Pierre's Tuesday Blog

The Curtain Rises

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To start the New Year, I put together a playlist of concert overtures – that is, overtures meant for concerts and not overtures from stage works. There are, of course, plenty to choose from, and the ones I chose span a large arrays of composers of the 19th and 20th centuries.

My first choice is by Franz von Suppé, who is best remembered for his operetta overtures. He composed a number of Viennese-themed concert pieces and this Viennese Jubilation overure is in-keeping with the long-standing musical tradition of the New Year in Vienna.

Johannes Brahms is a composer I will be blogging a lot about this month here and on my Friday blog, and the Tragic overture is one of two of his concert overtures (the other, the Academic Festivals, is scheduled for my Friday post of January 11th).

Felix Mendelssohn wrote several concert overtures, and this youthful trumpet overture sets the groundwork for the Fair Medusa and Calm Sea abd Prosperous Voyage. Berlioz's Le Corsaire is one of his many overtures for stage and concert, and probably his most colourful (save, maybe, for Carnaval Romain).

Elgar’s Cockaigne and Gershwin’s Cuban overtures were written a few decades apart, but they shine with their brilliant use of the orchestra to tell a story: that of a mythical London and the exotic travels in the Cartibbean.

To close, I chose the 1812 Overture with full chorus. Seldom heard in concert in this form, the overture gains more of its solemn intent with the addition of the short accapella preamble and the choral outbursts that announce the long coda.

Happy listening - and happy New Year!


Franz von SUPPÉ (1819-1895)
Wiener Jubelouvertüre (Viennese Jubilation Overture)
Christian Pollack conducts the East Slovakian Philharmonic Kosice

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Tragische Ouvertüre (Tragic Overture) in D Minor, op. 81
Sir Colin Davis conducts the European Union Youth Orchestra

Overture in C Major ('Trumpet'), op. 101
Francesco d'Avalos conducts the Philarmonia Orchestra

Sir Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
Cockaign Overture (In London Town), op. 40
Sir Alexander Gibson conducts the Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869)
Overture "Le Corsaire" ("The Corsair"), Op. 21, H 101
Lionel Bringuier conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937)
Cuban Overture ( 1932)
Jeff Tyzik conducts the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

Pyotr Ilich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
1812 Festival Overture, in E Flat Major, op. 49
(Version for Orchestra, Choir, Organ, War Canons and Bells)
Eugene Ormandy. conducts the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Canons from Valley Forge Military Academy Band.

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January 4th 2013, "I Think You Will Love This Music Too" will feature a new podcast "Btahms Festival, Part 1" at its Pod-O-Matic Channel. Read more January 4 on the ITYWLTMT Blogspot blog.

Updated Jan-01-2013 at 15:18 by itywltmt

Classical Music , Recorded Music