Drei Lustige Märsche

From Wind Repertory Project
Ernst Krenek

Ernst Krenek

This work's title translates from the German as "Three Funny [or Merry] Marches." It bears the designation Opus 44.

General Info

Year: 1926 / 1957
Duration: c: 6:45
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Universal Edition
Cost: Score and Parts - rental   |   Score Only (print) – Out of print


1. March I - Ouverture - 1:55
2. March II - Idyll – 2:00
3. March III - Buffo – 2:40


Full Score
E-flat Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Originally, Krenek had entitled this piece 3 Märches für Blasmusik. His publisher, Universal Editions, was leery of this title, which directly referred to its military band instrumentation. They believed that this title might have stifled sales and distribution of the work, seeing as how original works for military band were uncommon at the time. Krenek's publisher suggested three alternative titles for the work, each indicative of the character of the piece:

  • Three Merry Marches
  • Three Grotesque Marches
  • Parodistic Marches for Brass Orchestra

Krenek ultimately agreed to change the name of the work in favor of a more descriptive title.

These three short marches are playful in nature, jovial in spirit, and boisterous in character. The bright, almost sarcastic attitude of each march can be heard in the lilting melodies of the woodwinds, grace note embellishments, syncopations and jeering dissonances. It is almost as if Krenek used the instrumentation of the military band to satirize the military march tradition. While that may not have been his intent in composing the work, one can certainly hear the "parodied" style Krenek has adopted in these three brief marches for military band.

- Program Note from University of Miami Frost Wind Ensemble concert program, 27 October 2016

Krenek composed his Three Merry Marches, Op. 44 for the 1926 Donaueschingen Contemporary Music Festival. This work was premiered by the Infantry-Regiment No. 15 Band, conducted by his friend Hermann Scherchen. It was included in a program featuring works by such other contemporary composers as Paul Hindemith, Ernst Pepping, and Ernst Toch.

Three Merry Marches reflects several influences: the fun-loving spirit of Krenek’s first wife as well as the practical and entertaining qualities of the music heard during his 1925 visit to Paris. While these pieces adhere to the stylistic characteristics expected in concert marches, they challenge the performer and listener through quirky melodies and challenging harmonic progressions. In some ways, it appears that Krenek offers a satiric view of the military march tradition.

- Program Note by Tiffany Engle for Calvin University Wind Ensemble concert program, 1 May 2021


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Symphony (Kevin Geraldi, conductor) - 12 October 2023
  • Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.) Wind Orchestra (Mark Scatterday, conductor) - 7 November 2022
  • Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Penn.) Wind Ensemble (George Vosburgh, conductor) - 15 October 2022
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble Chamber Winds (Rodney Dorsey, conductor) - 1 February 2022
  • Calvin University (Grand Rapids, Mich.) Wind Ensemble (Tiffany Engle, conductor) - 1 May 2021
  • Miami (Ohio) University Wind Ensemble (Gary A. Speck, conductor) - 16 March 2021
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Concert Band (Courtney Snyder, conductor) - 14 March 2021
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Wind Ensemble (Lauren Visel, conductor) - 10 October 2020
  • Cincinnati (Ohio) Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble (Brendan Boyle, conductor) - 30 September 2020
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Madison Argo, conductor) - 5 October 2020
  • Georgia State University (Atlanta) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Bryant L. Wahl-Perrin, conductor) – 18 February 2020
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Symphony Band Chamber Winds (Nick Balla, conductor) – 4 October 2019
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Orchestra (Thomas Gamboa, conductor) – 8 November 2018
  • University of Massachusetts (Amherst) Wind Ensemble (Matthew Sypek, conductor) – 22 April 2018
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Mallory Thompson, conductor) – 3 November 2017
  • University of Miami (Fla.) Frost Wind Ensemble (Robert Carnochan, conductor) – 27 October 2016
  • Temple University (Philadelphia) Wind Symphony Chamber Winds (Emily Threinen, conductor) – 23 March 2016
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Concert Band (Courtney Snyder, conductor) – 7 December 2015

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Krenek, E. [1957]. Drei Lustige Märsche, für Blasorchester. [Op. 44.]. [Score]. Universal Edition: [s.l.]
  • Krenek Institute website