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Overture Category (or Overture form)
Return to list of categories Overture

An Overture was originally a short piece of music performed before opening the curtain at an opera or at a play. The word derives from French 'ouverture' = opening. It has evolved to mean a short work in one movement only, but often in sonata form.

The overtures written by Mozart, Beethoven and Rossini were intended as the openings for their operas, but their music is so intrinsically brilliant, that it played on its own in orchestral concerts. Romantic composers including Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn wrote overtures as a musical form on its own, not associated with any opera.

Rossini's overtures have a very marked character, in the use of long and extreme crescendos, repeated several times. He states his themes gently at first, but then builds up the sound by successively adding more instruments and orchestral sections, as well as asking the orchestra to play more loudly. This has given rise to the term 'a Rossinian Crescendo'.


Tunes belonging to the Overture category. Audio is available for 36 tunes for this category.
  
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No.Name of WorkComposerEnsemblePeriod
1 Abduction from the Seraglio - OvertureMozartOrchestraClassical
2 Academic Festival Overture Op.80BrahmsOrchestraRomantic
3 Aspirations OvertureGomersallOrchestraModern (Serious)
4 Benvenuto Cellini - OvertureBerliozOrchestraRomantic
5 Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage - OvertureMendelssohnOrchestraRomantic
6 Cockaigne Overture Op 40 "In London Town"ElgarOrchestraRomantic
7 Coriolan Overture Opus 62BeethovenOrchestraClassical
8 Des Teufels Lustschloss - OvertureSchubertOrchestraRomantic
9 Egmont Overture Op 84BeethovenOrchestraClassical
10 Festival Overture 1812TchaikovskyOrchestraRomantic
11 Fidelio Overture Op 72bBeethovenOrchestraClassical
12 Fierabras OvertureSchubertOrchestraRomantic
13 Fingal's Cave Overture "The Hebrides" Op 26MendelssohnOrchestraRomantic
14 Hamlet Fantasy Overture Op 67TchaikovskyOrchestraRomantic
15 La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie) Overture to the operaRossiniOrchestraRomantic
16 La Vie Parisienne - OvertureOffenbachOrchestraRomantic
17 Le Corsair - OvertureBerliozOrchestraRomantic
18 Leonora Overture No.3 Op 72aBeethovenOrchestraClassical
19 Magic Flute OvertureMozartOrchestraClassical
20 Merry Wives of Windsor - OvertureNicolaiOrchestraRomantic
21 Miniature OvertureGomersallOrchestraClassical
22 Overture in E minorGomersallOrchestraModern (Serious)
23 Overture to Der FreischützWeberOrchestraRomantic
24 Overture to Orpheus in the UnderworldOffenbachOrchestraRomantic
25 Overture to Russlan and LudmillaGlinkaOrchestraRomantic
26 Poet and Peasant OvertureSuppé OrchestraRomantic
27 Prometheus Overture Op 43BeethovenOrchestraClassical
28 Roman Carnival OvertureBerliozOrchestraRomantic
29 Romeo and Juliet - Fantasy OvertureTchaikovskyOrchestraRomantic
30 Ruy Blas OvertureMendelssohnOrchestraRomantic
31 Semiramide, Overture to the operaRossiniOrchestraRomantic
32 Tempest - Fantasy Overture in F minor Op 18TchaikovskyOrchestraRomantic
33 The Italian Girl in Algiers, Overture to the opera.RossiniOrchestraRomantic
34 Tragic OvertureBrahmsOrchestraRomantic
35 Tranquil OvertureGomersallOrchestraModern (Serious)
36 William Tell, Overture to the operaRossiniOrchestraRomantic
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