March, Opus 69

From Wind Repertory Project
Sergei Prokofiev

Sergei Prokofiev (arr. Gingery)

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General Info

Year: 1937 / 1985
Duration: c. 2:00
Difficulty: I-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Military band
Publisher: William Allen Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $45.00   |   Score Only - $5.00


Full Score
Flute/Bells I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F
Baritone/Bassoon/Tuba/E-flat Baritone Saxophone
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

During one of Sergei Prokofiev’s visits to the United States, my father and I had occasion to chat with him about band music and to inquire whether he himself had written anything for band. His reply was that he had not, but that he was very much interested in the idea. Neither my father nor myself heard further on the subject until one day, a year or so afterwards, my father received a small package from Russia containing an inscribed pocket score of this march, Prokofiev’s first work for band, dated 1937.

The title, March for the Spartakiade, meant very little to me until I was informed that the Spartakiade was (or is) a sort of inclusive athletic competition or festival. We therefore decided to program the piece as Athletic Festival March, feeling that this title would be more understandable and appropriate. The first performance in America took place at a Goldman Band concert during the summer season of 1938. It scored a great and immediate hit, and has remained in the Goldman Band repertory ever since.

Prokofiev’s original scoring was of course for the typical military band of Russia, using no saxophones, alto or bass clarinets, third cornet, etc. Oboe, bassoon and third and fourth horns were marked as optional; cues were liberally provided. It would indeed have been presumptuous on my part had I attempted to rescore this brilliant sounding little work; my editing therefore did not exceed the bounds of adding parts for those instruments which American bandmasters consider essential. This march differs in form and spirit from the military march or quickstep of American or European pattern. It is actually in an expanded A-B-A form, each section being in turn composed of a smaller a-b-a form. The original tempo indication is given as "skoro," meaning fast. It is clear that the gaiety and humor of the march are best revealed when a briskly vivacious tempo is maintained throughout, and when the dynamic contrasts are sharply and carefully emphasized.

- Program Note by Richard Franko Goldman


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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  • Cary (N.C.) Town Band (Stuart Holoman, conductor) - 23 August 2014

Works for Winds by This Composer


None discovered thus far.