The Overture to the Theatre Pension Fund

Victor Hugo’s play Ruy Blas is about a slave who falls in love with the queen of Spain; the feeling is reciprocated, but the story – inevitably – ends in tragedy. Mendelssohn didn’t like the play; and, when the Leipzig Theatre attempted to commission music for a benefit performance (for the theatre pension fund) of the work, he turned […]

Making overtures (and waves)

Among its eight definitions of the word ‘overture’, the OED describes the musical kind as: An orchestral piece of varying form and dimensions, forming the opening or introduction to an opera, oratorio, or other extended composition, and often containing themes from the body of the work or otherwise indicating the character of it. Also: a […]