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.
Richard Tauber (1892-1948) was an Austrian-born British tenor and composer celebrated for his vocal work in opera and, especially, operetta. When in the 1920s his career emphasis shifted to light opera and operetta he became a close friend of Franz Lehár. Although he was less successful as a composer, his operetta ‘Der singende Traum’ (1934) ran for 89 performances. The tenor solo ‘Du bist die Welt für mich’ became a timeless hit not least thanks to the recording Tauber made seven months later.
‘Girl Crazy’ is a musical in two act with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin. It had its premiere in 1930 in New York and had in the first run a total of 272 performances. The overture to ‘Girl Crazy’ consists of an introduction, a grandiose ending and refrains of the songs ‘I Got Rhythm’, ‘Embraceable you’, ‘Land of the gay Caballero’, ‘But not for me’ and ‘Broncho Busters’. Although the musical itself is not performed often anymore, the sparkling overture has conquered a place in the concert repertoire.
‘The Planets’ by English composer Gustav Holst is a seven-movement orchestral suite in which each movement is named after a planet of the Solar System and its corresponding astrological character.
The orchestration is very imaginative and colourful, showing the influence of such contemporary composers as Igor Stravinsky and Arnold Schoenberg, as well as such late Russian romantics as Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov.
From its premiere to the present day, the suite has been enduringly popular, influential, widely performed and frequently recorded.
‘Russian Easter Festival Overture’ (La grande Pâque russe), is a concert overture written by the Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1888. It is based on themes from the ‘obikhod’, which is a printed collection of the most important and most frequently used canticles of the Russian Orthodox Church. The overture begins with a long introduction of a very slow tempo in which the voice of an archangel is represented by a dark trumpet solo. The slow introduction is followed by joyous allegro conveying a sense of excitement.
Alexander Glazunov (1865 – 1936) was a Russian composer, music teacher, and conductor of the late Russian Romantic period.
In 1899 Glazunov composed the music for the ballet ‘The Seasons’. It’s is an allegorical ballet in one act, four scenes, by the choreographer Marius Petipa. The work was first performed by the ‘Imperial Ballet’ in 1900 in St. Petersburg and has become one of Glazunov’s best compositions. ‘L’Automne’ is the fourth scene (tableau) of the ballet also known as the ‘Autumn Bacchanale’ (Grande bacchanale des Saisons).
The idea of a ‘Hamlet overture’ had first occurred to Tschaikowsky in 1876. However, by 1888 he had altered these plans when he was asked to write incidental music for a production of Shakespeare’s play. The planned performance was cancelled, but Tschaikowsky decided to finish what he had started, in the form of a concert overture.
The work adopts the same scheme he used in his other Shakespeare pieces, the fantasy-overture ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (1869) and the symphonic fantasy ‘The Tempest’ (1873), in using certain characteristics or emotional situations within the play.
Victor Ewald was born in St. Petersburg and died in Leningrad. Ewald was a professor of Civil Engineering in St. Petersburg, and was also the cellist with the Beliaeff Quartet for sixteen years. This was the most influential ensemble in St. Petersburg in the late 19th century, introducing much of the standard quartet literature to Russia. He also collected and published Russian folk songs. Ewald’s professional life, like that of many of his musical contemporaries, was in an entirely different field; that of a civil engineer, in which he excelled, being appointed in 1900 as professor and manager of the Faculty of Construction Materials at the Institute of Civil Engineers.
Brass players however are indebted to him for something very different – a series of quintets which have become a staple of the repertoire and which represent almost the only, and certainly the most extended examples of original literature in the Romantic style.
The Quintet No. 1 in Bb minor, Op. 5 (1902, rev. 1912) contains 3 movements: