Overture for Winds (arr. Patterson)

From Wind Repertory Project
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (ed. Donald Patterson)

This work bears the designation Opus 24.

General Info

Year: 1824 / 2008
Duration: c. 10:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Chamber orchestra
Publisher: Cimarron Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $45.00; (digital) - $45.00


Full Score
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Trumpet
Horn in F I-II


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Op. 24 by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was composed in July of 1824 for the court orchestra of Bad Doberan near Rostock, where the young musician was accompanying his father. Writing for the Boston Symphony, George Marke remarks, "Some artists develop their craft slowly, others seem to being at the top. There is little difference between Mendelssohn's early and his mature works."

The original score was lost but recopied by Mendelssohn in July of 1826. These two scores were entitled Nocturno and were written for the instrumentation of one flute, two clarinets, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, one trumpet, and one English bass horn (a conical bore upright serpent in the shape of a bassoon).

In his correspondence to the publisher Simrock, Mendelssohn mentions his desire to have this eleven-instrument version published, but apparently could not locate the score as he never mentions it again to Simrock after March 4, 1839. Mendelssohn did send Simrock an Ouverture fur Harmoniemusik ("Overture for Wind Band") scored for twenty-three winds and percussion along with a four-hand piano score on November 30, 1838. The 1838 composition is a re-scoring of the Nocturno for German Band of that era and was not published until 1852 following the death of Mendelssohn.

It has been suggested by musicologists that the 1838 re-scoring was an effort to imitate the orchestral color of Weber's Preciousa Overture. In Weber's overture, a gypsy melody is introduced by a small wind band with percussion accompaniment. At this time, however, Mendelssohn was also negotiating for the publication of the overture by Mori in London. It is quite possible that the re-scoring was an attempt to acquire greater performance opportunities for his work by making it available in settings for British and German bands along with a proposed edition for orchestra.

Several editions for modern instrumentation have appeared, all using the 1838 score as their source.

- Program Note by John P. Boyd


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wind Ensemble (John Climer, conductor) - 30 April 2021
  • Central Washington University (Ellensburg) Wind Ensemble (Paul Bain, conductor) - 11 March 2021
  • McKinney (Tx.) High School Honors Band - 2010

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Scherzo (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Ambrose) (1823/2021)

All Wind Works


  • Mendelssohn, F.; Patterson, D. (2008). Overture for Winds, Op. 24: Mixed Woodwinds [score]. Cimarron Music Press: [s.l.].