Grieg: Overture “In Autumn”

Im Herbst (In Autumn), is a concert overture written by Edvard Grieg in 1865. Edvard Grieg was born in Bergen, Norway in June 1843 and died in September 1907. His mother was his first piano teacher and taught him to play from the age of 6. In the summer of 1858, Grieg met the eminent … Read more

Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel Overture

The original Engelbert Humperdinck (1854-1921) was a German composer best known for his fairytale opera, Hänsel and Gretel, which he wrote in the early 1890s. Humperdinck was strongly attracted to music from earliest childhood. He eventually succeeded in studying music, despite strong opposition from his father who had wanted his son to be an architect. … Read more

Wagner: Die Meistersinger Overture

Richard Wagner was a German composer of opera. As well as writing The Mastersingers his other great operas include Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Tristan and Isolde and Parsifal. He also wrote the opera cycle The Ring of the Nibelung. Wagner not only wrote the music to his operas, but also the libretti, and he supervised all aspects … Read more

Beethoven: Coriolan Overture

The Coriolan Overture was written by Ludwig van Beethoven in 1807 for Heinrich Joseph von Collin’s 1804 tragedy, not – as is sometimes claimed – for Shakespeare’s play Coriolanus. Caius Martius Coriolan was a legendary Roman general. Despite having previously provided long and valiant service to his people, Coriolan fell out of favour with the … Read more

Beethoven: King Stephen Overture

King Stephen is a commemorative work composed in 1811. It includes an overture in E flat major and nine vocal numbers. Only the overture is still played today but it is among the least played orchestral works of the composer. The title refers to King Stephen I, founder of the kingdom of Hungary in the … Read more

Haydn: Representation of Chaos

“Chaos” is the overture to Haydn’s oratorio, the Creation, one of his undoubted masterpieces. The English libretto, by an anonymous author, was given to him during his second London tour, possibly after Handel had turned it down. The work took eighteen months to complete, and was first performed to an invitation-only audience in Vienna in … Read more

Rossini: The Italian Girl in Algiers

Rossini was born in 1792 in Pesaro, Italy and died in France in 1868. Amongst other works he was a prolific writer of operas, both tragic and comic. He wrote thirty-nine in less than twenty years, becoming one of the most successful and popular operatic composers of his time. The Italian Girl in Algiers (L’Italiana … Read more

Rossini: The Silken Ladder Overture

Rossini was an acclaimed master of the comic opera (opera buffa). Although only a handful of his 39 operas are performed today, the popularity of his overtures has never waned. The Thieving Magpie, The Barber of Seville, William Tell, Italian Girl in Algiers etc. all proclaim the sensuous vitality and brilliance of Rossini’s musical imagination, … Read more