Der Rosenkavalier (Walzerfolge No. 2) – Richard Strauss

Der Rosenkavalier (Walzerfolge No. 2) – Richard Strauss

‘Der Rosenkavalier’, Op. 59, is a comic opera in three acts by Richard Strauss to an original German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal. It was first performed at the ‘Königliches Opernhaus’ in Dresden on 26 January 1911 and the opera became immediate and profound popular.

As one would expect of a commercial hit, the music was pressed into all manner of use through arrangements and transcriptions. Strauss produced the earliest orchestral extract himself  in 1911, directly on the heels of the premiere; he titled it ‘Walzerfolge Rosenkavalier 3. Akt’ (‘Waltz Sequence from Rosenkavalier Act 3’) which in the end was entitled as ‘Walzerfolge No. 2’ (‘Waltz Sequence No. 2’).

Publisher: → Baton Music

explanation text © Baton Music


Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini – Rachmaninov

Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini – Rachmaninov

InstrumentationPiano & Wind Band
Grade5
Duration30 minutes
PublisherBaton Music

In the summer of 1934 Rachmaninoff composed the ‘Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini’ at his summer home, the Villa Senar in Switzerland.

It’s a concertante work written by for piano and orchestra, closely resembling a piano concerto in a single movement.

After a brief introduction, the first variation is played before the well known ‘Paganini theme’ and then followed by the other 23 variations.

The work is performed in one stretch without breaks but it can be divided into three sections. These correspond to the three movements of a concerto: up to variation 10 corresponds to the first movement, variations 11 to 18 are the equivalent of a slow movement, and the remaining variations make a finale.

text: © baton music


Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 – Franz Liszt

Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 – Franz Liszt

InstrumentationWind Band
Grade5
Duration12 minutes
Publisher→ Baton Music

The Hungarian-born composer and pianist Franz Liszt was strongly influenced by the music heard in his youth, particularly Hungarian folk music, with its unique gypsy scale, rhythmic spontaneity and direct, seductive expression.


‘Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2’, is the second in a set of 19 Hungarian rhapsodies Liszt composed but it is by far the most famous of the set. It was dedicated to Count László Teleki and first published as a piano solo in 1851.

Its immediate success and popularity on the concert stage led to an orchestrated version, arranged in 1857–1860 by the composer in collaboration with Franz Doppler.

For this transcription I used as well the Doppler version as the version by Müller-Berghaus.

© text: Baton Music


Tod und Verklärung – Richard Strauss

Tod und Verklärung – Richard Strauss

Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration), Op. 24, is a tone poem for large orchestra by Richard Strauss.

Strauss began composition in the late summer of 1888 and completed the work on 18 November 1889.

The work is dedicated to the composer’s friend Friedrich Rosch. The music depicts the death of an artist. At Strauss’s request, this was described in a poem by the composer’s friend Alexander Ritter as an interpretation of ‘Tod und Verklärung’, after it was composed.

As the man lies dying, thoughts of his life pass through his head: his childhood innocence, the struggles of his manhood, the attainment of his worldly goals; and at the end, he receives the longed-for transfiguration ‘from the infinite reaches of heaven’.

Publisher: → Baton Music

explanation text: © Baton Music


Requiem – Giuseppe Verdi

Requiem – Giuseppe Verdi

After Gioachino Rossini’s death in 1868, Giuseppe Verdi suggested that a number of Italian composers collaborate on a Requiem in Rossini’s honor. Unfortunately the project was abandoned by the organisation. But not much later, upon hearing of the death of the Italian writer and humanist Alessandro Manzoni, Giuseppe Verdi resolved to complete a Requiem, this time entirely of his own writing.

The ‘Messa da Requiem’ is a musical setting of the Catholic funeral mass (Requiem) for four soloists, double choir and orchestra. It is rarely performed in liturgy, but rather in concert form of around 85-90 minutes in length.

text: © Baton Music

Publisher: → Baton Music

L’Italiana in Algeri – Gioacchino Rossini

L’Italiana in Algeri – Gioacchino Rossini

‘L’Italiana in Algeri’ (The Italian Girl in Algiers) is an operatic ‘drama giocoso’ in two acts by Gioacchino Rossini. The music is characteristic of Rossini’s style, remarkable for its fusion of sustained, manic energy with elegant, pristine melodies. The overture is widely recorded and performed today, known for its distinct opening of slow, quiet pizzicato basses, leading to a sudden loud burst of sound from the full orchestra. This ‘surprise’ reflects Rossini’s early admiration for Joseph Haydn, whose ‘Symphony No. 94’ in G major, ‘The Surprise Symphony’, is so named for the same shocking and semi-comic effect.

Publisher: → Baton Music

© text: Baton Music Eindhoven

Lachian Dances – Leos Janacek

Lachian Dances – Leos Janacek

Leoš Janácek (1854-1928) was a Czech composer, musical theorist, folklorist, publicist and teacher. He was inspired by Moravian and other Slavic folk music to create an original, modern musical style.

The ‘Lachian Dances’ (Lašské tance) was Janácek’s first mature work. The work is split into six separate dances:

1. Starodávný I (Old Time Dance I),
2. Požehnaný (The Blessed),
3. Dymák (Smoke Dance),
4. Starodávný II (Old Time Dance II),
5. Celadenský (Celadna Dance)
6. Pilky (The Saws)

Publisher: → Baton Music

explanation text and demo score: © Baton Music

Demo score: 

Rondo alla Turca – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Rondo alla Turca – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The last movement of the ‘Piano Sonata No. 11’, marked ‘Alla Turca’, popularly known as the ‘Turkish Rondo’ or ‘Turkish March’, is often heard on its own and is one of Mozart’s best-known piano pieces. Mozart himself titled the rondo ‘Alla Turca’. It imitates the sound of Turkish Janissary bands, the music of which was much in vogue at that time. Various other works of the time imitate this Turkish style.

This arrangement of the ‘Turkish march’ for Symphonic Band includes all Turkish percussion effects.

Publisher: → Baton Music

explanation text and demo score: © Baton Music

Demo score: