WHO’S WILLIAM TELL?
William Tell was a Swiss folk hero and fighter for Swiss independence from Austria. Despite his actual existence being debated by many historians, his importance in Swiss folklore and national identity is unquestioned as he was found in many Swiss artworks and statues. According to legend, Tell was a 14th-century farmer with remarkable skills in archery.
The overture was composed to reflect the daily life of the rebellion in Switzerland. The prelude, Dawn, opens with a slow, mournful solo passage for cello. Gradually, the theme introduced by the cello builds and expands, accelerating restlessly to suggest a brewing storm. Soon, torrents of winds and strings, as well as thunderous percussion, move the piece into the second part, implying a furious “Storm”.