Overture for a comedy by Goldoni

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Lo spirito di contraddizione

dedicated to Edgard Doneux[1]

Opus 53


  • Legley composed this overture for a comedy by Carlo Goldoni at the request of Edgar Doneux, who was urgently in need of an overture for a concert in Paris five or six days later.[2] He wrote the work in about 4 days.[3]
  • The first performance was played on 5 December 1958[4] in Paris by the chamber orchestra of the NIR conducted by Edgard Doneux.[5] From this, we may conclude that Legley wrote the overture at the end of November 1958.[6]


  • instrumentation: symphony orchestra[7]
  • duration: ca 5'15"


  • Allegro vivace
    • time signature: 4/4
  • Moderato
    • time signature: 3/4
  • Subito tempo primo (Allegro vivace)
    • time signature: 4/4


  • first edition (study score): CeBeDeM, Brussels, 1960[8]
  • photocopy of a manuscript (transcription for wind band by an anonymous author): Royal Conservatory Brussels (B-Bc), shelf number BV-03-4121


  1. First edition: au vrai coupable: Edgar Doneux.
  2. De Roeck, p.377. A similar story was told by Legley's daughter-in-law Liliane Wulfowicz to the author of this catalogue.
  3. VRT archive: Interview van Raymond Schroyens met Vic Legley, 11 June 1983. On the dating of this interview, see 2 Pieces for accordion.
  4. This date is mentioned in an overview of the loans of orchestral materials made by CeBeDeM for the year 1958 (present in the Legley archive of the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, no shelf number yet).
  5. CeBeDeM - lijst werken: LIJST VAN DE WERKEN VAN VIC LEGLEY 22.6.1976, p.2. More details are not known.
  6. Perhaps Legley revised this composition in January 1959: on the last page of the first edition the date 11.I.59 is printed, possibly the date on which Legley gave the work its final form.
  7. 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, timpani and strings.
  8. In this edition, the name Goldoni is systematically misspelled as Goldini.