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About this Piece

When considering Mendelssohn’s command of the concert overture form (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, The Hebrides, Ruy Blas), it comes as no surprise that his most significant band work would be a concert overture of notable craft and clarity. Cast entirely in Classical-era convention, the musical inclinations and prodigy of the young composer are clearly evident. Mendelssohn’s Overture for Band was composed perchance while the 15-year-old boy vacationed with his father in the seaside resort of Doberan on the shores of the Baltic. The resort’s resident band impressed the young composer sufficiently to write and present for performance a festive concert overture originally entitled, Notturno. With the encouragement of his publisher, Simrock, two years later Mendelssohn reconstructed the work from memory (the original score was left behind and lost). He revised the Overture once more in 1838 to further fill out the orchestration to conform to the instrumentation typical of a period German military band. (Tonight’s critical contemporary performance edition of this 1838 revision is the product of American conductor and publisher Robert J. Garofalo.)

— Program notes supplied by CSUN.