Six Fantasies for Queen Victoria
Modern edition by David Whitwell
Date: ca. 1850
Instrumentation: Wind Ensemble (Concert Band without saxophones and euphonium)
Difficulty: Level 4, Medium
André Spaeth, in 1838, became the Kapellmeister for the Duke Ernst I of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the father of Prince Albert, the husband of England’s Queen Victoria. Earlier he had lived and worked in Switzerland and by 1849 Spaeth was considered one of the most fluent and popular composers of the mid-nineteenth century [Glassner, 1849]. His works included five operas, much church music, military marches and educational materials for piano.
The Six Fantasies for band were written between 1838 and 1861, the date of the death of Albert, and are dedicated to Queen Victoria of England. These Fantasies were all based on original songs composed by Prince Albert, Consort to Queen Victoria. As Albert’s songs were not published until 1882, it seems apparent that Spaeth worked from the original manuscripts of the prince.