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Catherine Bott picks some of the most important, interesting and entertaining overtures, which have preceded the curtain rising on operas, plays and even movies.
Although by the end of the 18th century opera overtures were already beginning to be performed as separate items in the concert hall, the "concert overture", intended specifically as an individual piece without reference to stage performance and generally based on some literary theme, began to appear early in the Romantic era. This 1826 overture by Mendelssohn is generally regarded as the first concert overture.
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