Oskar Morawetz, Overture to a Fairy Tale

Oskar Morawetz (1917-2007)

Morawetz (1917-2007) was born in what is now the Czech Republic and came to Canada in 1941. He had a distinguished career as a composer and died in Toronto. This short piece is one of the most popular Canadian orchestral compositions, and was first performed in 1957. The music does not follow the storyline of a particular fairy tale but instead evokes characteristics typical of any fairy tale. Morawetz describes the exposition as containing three types of themes: elfin, mysterious and gay/dance-like. These themes evolve through the use of orchestral colours, different rhythmic combinations, and by being combined with each other. The music becomes menacing, then very quiet and gentle. Finally the coda builds to a joyful ending.
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Catherine West and Alison Kenny-Gardhouse

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