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Overture for Band (Mendelssohn)

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Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (adapt. Greissle)

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General Info

Year:1839 / 1948
Duration: c. 9:30
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Schirmer
Cost: Score and Parts - Out of print.

For availability information, see Discussion area, above.


Full Score
C Piccolo
D-flat Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
Cornets I-II
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Flugehorn I-II
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
String Bass

(percussion detail needed)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Mendelssohn family enjoyed summer holidays in various locations around Europe, where Felix formed professional connections with eminent historical figures, including Goethe and Spohr. During the summer of 1824, Mendelssohn vacationed with his father at the northern German community of Bad Doberan. This resort was known for its spas, many of which employed small Harmonie ensembles to perform daily concerts. While in Bad Doberan, Mendelssohn composed his Notturno for eleven instruments – pairs of oboes, clarinets, horns, and bassoons, plus additional parts for flute, trumpet, and English basshorn – and the work received its premiere on July 24, 1824.

In 1838, the composer rescored the work for large German wind band and re-titled it Overture, Op. 24. At this time, Mendelssohn sought to have the work published in three versions: the original for 11 instruments, the expanded version, and a setting for piano four-hands. Simrock accepted the works, but did not publish them until 1852, five years after the composer’s death.

The work is in sonata form with a slow, highly melodic introduction. Its balanced phrase structures and restrained expressive sensibility are characteristic of Mendelssohn’s style. The Allegro presents a succession of short motives, with the second theme serving as the only melody of any length. The development explores the young composer’s sense of classical counterpoint through the use of polyphonic imitation. Originally composed when Mendelssohn was only 15 years old, the Overture, Op. 24, illustrates his maturing compositional voice.

- Program Note from Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

  • Arkansas: V
  • Iowa: V
  • Louisiana: IV
  • Maryland: V
  • Minnesota: I
  • North Carolina: VI
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Tennessee: VI


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Works for Winds by this Composer