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Carnival Overture

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Antonín Dvořák

Antonín Dvořák (arr. Herbert L Clarke)


The work bears the designation Opus 92.


General Info

Year: 1891 / 1922?
Duration: c. 9:30
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Manuscript
Cost Score and Parts - Free

For availability information, see Discussion tab above.


Instrumentation

Full Score
Condensed Score
C Piccolo (notated as D-flat Piccolo in score)
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Bass Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
F Horn I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium (div. a2)
Tuba
Harp
Timpani
Percussion I-II-III (5 players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

The concert overture Carnival (Czech: Karneval, koncertní ouvertura), Op. 92, B. 169, was written by Antonín Dvořák in 1891. It is part of a "Nature, Life and Love" trilogy of overtures written by Dvořák, forming the second "Life" part. The other two parts of the trilogy are In Nature's Realm, Op. 91 ("Nature") and Othello, Op. 93 ("Love").

- Program notes from Wikipedia


Dvorák's Carnival Overture was written in the summer of 1891 as the second of a three-overture set originally called "Nature, Life and Love." Described by Brahms as a "merry work," it is heard here in a transcription by virtuoso trumpeter Herbert L. Clarke.

The work is a joyful and exuberant depiction of a city carnival. Filled with the traditional folk music and dance rhythms that are the hallmark of Dvorák's compositional style, the piece endures as a favorite in the symphonic literature. In a program note penned by the composer, Dvorák states, "The wanderer reaches a city at nightfall where a carnival of pleasure reigns supreme." We hear the "shouts of joy" and "unrestrained hilarity of people giving vent to their feelings..."

- Program Note by Chief Musician James W. Armstrong III for the U.S. Navy Band


1892 was an auspicious year for Antonin Dvorák. In that year he left his home country of Czechoslovakia for the United States in order to assume directorship of the National Conservatory of Music, based in New York City. He would spend the next three years in that post, and do some of his finest work there, including the composition of the so-called “New World” Symphony. As he made his departure from Prague, a farewell concert was given in his honor which included a set of three overtures called “Nature, Life and Love.” The second of these overtures is Carnival. Coincidentally, the same three overture set, or triptych, was performed at Carnegie Hall in a concert welcoming Dvorák to his new home in New York. Of the triptych, Carnival has become extremely popular as a stand-alone concert piece, thrilling audiences with its celebratory character and lively syncopation. As for the emotional quality Dvorák had in mind, the composer describes it thusly:

“The lonely, contemplative wanderer reaches the city at nightfall, where a carnival is in full swing. On every side is heard the clangor of instruments, mingled with shouts of joy and the unrestrained hilarity of people giving vent to their feelings in their songs and dance tunes.”

- Program Note by Andrew Skaggs for the U.S. Navy Band


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