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What is the longest overture ever written?
Posted by TheGingerBreadMan 2013-02-24 10:40:18


I know there have been some pretty long overtures, but does anyone have an idea as to what the LONGEST is?

What is the longest overture ever written?
Posted by temms 2013-02-24 11:21:52


Do you include operas? If so, I'd guess "Flying Dutchman" which is 11 minutes (and thrilling) and is an overture of "tunes" from the show, not a standalone piece like "Marriage of Figaro" or "Barber of Seville".

Musicals, I feel like the original "Pal Joey" overture is the longest I can think of at right around five minutes, but I imagine other '30s shows also had lengthy overtures.

What is the longest overture ever written?
Posted by followspot 2013-02-24 11:25:12


Rodgers & Hammerstein always had some mighty hefty (read: wonderful) overtures — Carousel would surely be a contender, or possibly South Pacific or The King and I. The Ella/Louis Porgy & Bess recording has an overture that clocks in at just under 11 minutes, but I don't know if that has ever been used in performance.

What is the longest overture ever written?
Posted by TheGingerBreadMan 2013-02-24 11:31:19


I believe GYPSY is also almost 5 minutes.

What is the longest overture ever written?
Posted by Sant 2013-02-24 11:41:37


SHOW BOAT's 1988 recording includes an overture that's 5:34 long.

What is the longest overture ever written?
Posted by joeybiltmore1 2013-02-24 12:01:07


I imagine there are longer ones but a few that spring to mind:

LIL' ABNER and TAKE ME ALONG have overtures over 5 minutes long.
BELLS ARE RINGING has one that is nearly 6 minutes long.


The "golden age" shows had overtures that were generally (and usually gloriously) longer.

I'm not sure I would consider CAROUSEL's prologue an "overture"

What is the longest overture ever written?
Posted by theatreguy 2013-02-24 12:39:13


South Pacific is the longest in my iTunes library. Closely followed by Bells are Ringing, Irene, Dear World and Allegro. Plus another 15 that are over 5 minutes long.

What is the longest overture ever written?
Posted by Finch 2013-02-24 17:22:40


Candide

What is the longest overture ever written?
Posted by chewy5000 2013-02-24 19:33:38


Pacific Overtures

What is the longest overture ever written?
Posted by darquegk 2013-02-24 22:33:42


The standard "original" licensed version of Cinderella had an overture, curtain music and then an extended instrumental Prologue. all three led into "The Prince is giving a Ball."

What is the longest overture ever written?
Posted by frontrowcentre2 2013-02-25 02:26:29


Operettas (DIE FLEDERMAUS, THE MERRY WIDOW) tended to have long overtures..FLEDERMAUS is usually around 8 1/2 minutes. Of course the Overtures became popular concert pieces and helped promote the shows.

Early musicals followed this format and Overtures tended to be over 5 minutes. Check out EMI's CD of Jerome Kern Overtures. They also have a disc of Gershwin Overtures and one of Porter Overtures and Ballet music - all conducted by John McGlinn. Many of these are in the 6 to 8 minute range.

Don't always go by cast albums...especially in the days when cast albums were recorded for release on 78-rpm records where a 10-inch side could hold about 3:30 of music. The OBCR's or OKLAHOMA!, FINIAN'S RAINBOW, and SOUTH PACIFIC are abridged. Columbia's album of KISS ME, KATE uses the Entr'acte instead of the show's actual Overture. 10 years later the original cast reunited to re-record the score in stereo for Capitol Records - and again used the Entr'acte to open the album. The actual Overture was included on a 1958 LP Lehman Engle made for Columbia called CURTAIN GOING UP which preserved the original Overtures from 10 shows: BLOOMER GIRL, ON THE TOWN, CALL ME MADAM, KISS ME KATE, GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, BELLS ARE RINGING, WONDERFUL TOWN, FINIAN'S RAINBOW, CAN-CAN, & SILK STOCKINGS. These are all in the 5-6 minute range.

The CD version includes two extra overtures LI'L ABNER and GOLDILOCKS that were not on the previous LP editions.

"The Carousel Waltz" is NOT an overture. It is a waltz suite intended to underscore the opening scene. Rodgers later explained that for CAROUSEL the Overture was heard between the Acts (An Entr'acte) but as far as I am aware it has never been recorded.

What is the longest overture ever written?
Posted by Nickhutson 2013-02-25 07:47:04


Of course the overture to Midsummer Night's Dream by Mendelssohn is 12 minutes long.

What is the longest overture ever written?
Posted by Matt Rogers 2013-02-25 09:08:34


Why do you care?

What is the longest overture ever written?
Posted by RaisedOnMusicals 2013-02-25 11:55:03


"I believe GYPSY is also almost 5 minutes."

Five wonderful, glorious minutes.

A few months ago, my wife and I were listening to the OCR in the car, and I said, "Can you imagine what it must have been like to have been sitting in the theater shortly after Gypsy opened, not knowing the music, and hearing that overture?" Thrilling, I would imagine.

What is the longest overture ever written?
Posted by dreamcoat12 2013-02-25 12:37:39


The King and I is 6:05 in my iTunes, from the Studio recording.

What is the longest overture ever written?
Posted by rorschach37 2013-02-26 10:44:50


Oklahoma and My Fair Lady have pretty long overtures.