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Overture to Candide Program Notes and Sheet Music

The overture to Candide is a musical introduction to the opera of the same name, which is based on the satirical novella by Voltaire. It was composed by Leonard Bernstein in 1956, and it is one of the most popular and recognizable pieces of music from the opera.

The overture is in sonata form, and it is structured in three movements: the exposition, the development, and the recapitulation. The exposition introduces the main themes of the opera, including the "Candide" theme, the "Optimism" theme, and the "Cunegonde" theme. The development section explores these themes in a variety of ways, and the recapitulation brings them back in their original form.

The overture is a lively and energetic piece of music, and it is full of Bernstein's signature wit and humor. The music is also surprisingly complex.

The overture to Candide is often performed as a concert piece, and it is a favorite of orchestras and conductors around the world.


The overture to Candide is a musical representation of the opera's themes of optimism, resilience, and the search for meaning in life. The music is lively and energetic, but it also has a touch of sadness and wistfulness. The overture is a reminder that life is full of challenges, but it is also a celebration of the human spirit.

    Candide Overture      
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