Gaspare Spontini

Prelude … the Field of Mars

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Prelude to the Fighting and to the Victory on the Field of Mars by Gaspare Spontini, modern edition for wind ensemble by David Whitwell.

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Product Description

Pre­lude to the Fight­ing and to the Vic­to­ry on the Field of Mars
Gas­pare Spon­ti­ni (1774–1861)
Mod­ern edi­tion by David Whitwell (1937–)

Date: 1800s
Instru­men­ta­tion: Wind Ensem­ble
Dura­tion: 3:30
Lev­el: 4

2 Flutes
2 Oboes
2 Clar­inets
2 Bass Clar­inets
2 Bas­soons
4 Horns
2 Trum­pets
3 Trom­bones
Eupho­ni­um
Tuba
Snare Drum
Bass Drum
Cym­bals
Tri­an­gle

Notes

As a youth, Spon­ti­ni stud­ied at the Con­ser­va­to­rio del­la Pietà de’ Tur­chi­ni in Naples. In 1803, he went to Paris, where he was appoint­ed court com­pos­er in 1805.

With the encour­age­ment of Empress Joséphine in 1807, Spon­ti­ni wrote La vestale, his best known work. Its pre­miere at the Opéra in Paris estab­lished Spon­ti­ni as one of the great­est Ital­ian com­posers of his age. His con­tem­po­raries Cheru­bi­ni and Meyer­beer con­sid­ered it a mas­ter­piece, as did lat­er com­posers such as Berlioz and Wag­n­er.

Among his com­po­si­tions for the French Court, were the music for a “Dance Mar­tial,” for mil­i­tary band. It appar­ent­ly con­sist­ed of two orig­i­nal com­po­si­tions, The Evo­lu­tions Mil­i­tary and the Pre­lude to the Fight­ing and to Vic­to­ry on the Field of Mars.

This Pre­lude is of inter­est in part due to its musi­cal sim­i­lar­i­ty with Beethoven’s Siegess­in­fonie, also for band, which was com­posed at the same time dur­ing the Napoleon­ic Wars.

This edi­tion has the same instru­men­ta­tion as Spontini’s auto­graph score with the excep­tion of our sub­sti­tu­tion of two bass clar­inet parts for the orig­i­nal two Corni di Bas­set­to. They are real­ly vir­tu­al­ly the same instru­ment, dif­fer­ing only in key. We have includ­ed only the per­cus­sion parts des­ig­nat­ed by Spon­ti­ni, for which he gave the over­all label, Jan­itscharen.

David Whitwell
Austin, 2014