It is an overture for peace.
Produced at Paris in 1828, it rapidly became a European favourite, and its overture, songs and choruses were everywhere heard.
The date of this famous letter was 1767, but after Alceste Gluck was still able to use material from earlier work; and the overture to Armide is adapted from that of Telemacco, written in the year of Bach's death (1750).
An instance of this characteristic function, specially remarkable because the composer has taken exceptional measures for it, is Beethoven's overture to Fidelio.
But, brilliant as was this overture, it is the second stage of the battle that gives it its epic interest.
In 1697 the Barrier Act was passed, which provides that any act which is to be binding on the church is to come before the assembly as an overture and to be transmitted to presbyteries for their approval.
The most important compositions of this period of Mackenzie's life were the Quartette in E flat for piano and strings, Op. 11, and an overture, Cervantes, which owed its first performance to the encouragement and help of von Billow.
In the orchestral ballad, La Belle Dame sans Merci, he touches the note of weird pathos, and in the nautical overture Britannia his sense of humour stands revealed.
His first music master was Gottlieb Muller, who thought him self-willed and eccentric; and his first production as a composer was an overture, performed at the Leipzig theatre in 1830.
Though Meyerbeer wrote much that is intrinsically more dull and vulgar than the overture to Rienzi, he never combined such serious efforts with a technique so like that of a military bandmaster.
The weakest passages in Der fliegende Hollander are not so helpless as the original recitatives of Venus in the first act; or Tannhauser's song, which was too far involved in the whole scheme to be ousted by the mature " New Venusberg music " with which Wagner fifteen years later got rid both of the end of the overture and what he called his " Palais-Royal " Venus.
Among the works produced for the first time or rehearsed with a view to the furtherance of musical art were Wagner's Tannhduser, Der fliegende Hollander, Das Liebesmahl der Apostel, and Eine Faust Overture, Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini, the Symphonie Fantastique, Harold en Italie, Romeo et Juliette, La Damnation de Faust, and L'Enfance du Christ - the last two conducted by the composer - Schumann's Genoveva, Paradise and the the music to Manfred and to Faust, Weber's Euryanthe, Schubert's Alfonso and Estrella, Raff's Kanig Alfred, Cornelius's Der Barbier von Baghdad and many more.