The Viennese Dance Series for Chamber Ensembles

Franz von Suppé

We have been unable to find a recording of this work by a piano quintet alone but have used one of a small pit orchestra consisting of a piano quintet, clarinet & light percussion. Even so, it provides a good idea. In our arrangement, the percussion part is given to the piano & the clarinet to the strings.

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Poet & Peasant Overture for Piano Quintet

Franz von Suppé (1819-1895) was born in the Dalmatian town of Split, then part of the Hapsburg Empire. His original name was Francesco Ezechiele Ermenegildo Cavaliere Suppé Demelli. He Germanized it upon moving to Vienna in the 1840’s. His childhood was spent in Dalmatia, where he had his first music lessons and began to compose at an early age. Later, he studied voice and flute in Italy and subsequent to that, composition with Simon Sechter in Vienna. He became famous as a composer of light opera, almost all of which have long disappeared. However, several overtures from various operettas, such as overtures from Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna, The Light Calvary, and the Poet and Peasant have all survived in the repertoire not only in their orchestral form but also in various arrangements for chamber music ensembles where they could be heard throughout the 19th and 20th centuries in the cafes of Vienna. This is so because of their wonderful ability to evoke imagery.


The Poet and Peasant (Dichter und Bauer) Overture was composed in 1846 not for one of his own operettas but as incidental music to a play of that name by a friend of von Suppe’s. The play has long since been forgotten but the overture with its wonderful melodies and lively high spirits became immensely popular.  Though originally intended for a very small pit orchestra of perhaps 15 players, arrangements of it for much smaller and more intimate groups were almost immediately made from the time it was published so that it could be heard in the cafes and coffee houses throughout Vienna.


Parts: $19.95 





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