Spontini, Prelude … the Field of Mars

USD $90

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

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

Score pre­view


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

2Bass Clar­inets
Snare Drum
Bass Drum

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