Slavonic Rhapsody No 1

From Wind Repertory Project
Carl Fiedemann

Carl Friedemann (arr. Mayhew Lake; ed. Kenneth Singleton)

This work bears the designation Opus 114, No. 1.

General Info

Year: 1904 / 1913 / 2016
Duration: c. 7:35
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Grand Mesa Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $125.00   |   Score Only (print) - $18.00

For further availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Full Score
C Piccolo
D-flat Piccolo
Flute I
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Bass Saxophone
B-flat Cornet Solo-I-II
B-flat Trumpet
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Carl Friedemann’s Slavonic Rhapsody No. 1, Op. 114, No. 1, arranged for band by Mayhew Lester Lake and published in 1904, was a staple in the concert band repertoire for over fifty years. Indeed, it was recorded in 1909 by John Philip Sousa’s Band, and a fabulous recording by Albert Schoepper and the U. S. Marine Band (likely recorded in the 1960s) is currently available in volume seven of the Robert Hoe Collection on Naxos Records. Indeed, the Sousa and Schoepper recordings reveal the work to be one of the most exciting and virtuosic works in the repertoire.

Why has the Slavonic Rhapsody No. 1 essentially disappeared from school and collegiate band repertoires, even though it remains a staple for many military and community bands? It is readily available in M. L. Lake’s original publication, now in the public domain and available through several publishers. True, the work is technically quite difficult and calls for fine players in virtually all the sections, but the greatest impediment is likely the condition of the performance materials. There is no full (only a condensed) score, and there are no rehearsal letters or measure numbers in either score or parts. There are also numerous errors and omissions in the parts. Additionally, the piccolo part is written in D-flat, and all the horn parts are in E-flat. Scored to accommodate the bands of the early 20th century, there is one part each for flute, oboe and bassoon, and no part for double bass. The only mallet percussion is bells, which are used most sparingly. It is therefore understandable that very few collegiate and high school bands would attempt to perform this otherwise superlative piece.

Friedemann wrote three slavonic rhapsodies. It is not at all clear whether the first rhapsody was originally written for orchestra or band or piano. It was composed in 1903, and a piano version showing a copyright date of 1904 was published by Otto Wernthal of Berlin. M. L. Lake’s band “arrangement” also shows a 1904 Otto Wernthal copyright, plus a 1913 copyright by Carl Fischer (renewed in 1946 – “with new parts by H. R. Kent”). An orchestra version of the first rhapsody was made by Thomas Woodhouse and published by Boosey & Hawkes in 1910. It was scored for full orchestra, which also included alto saxophones. A separate version of the first rhapsody (perhaps for a smallish “salon orchestra”) was made by Charles Roberts. There were probably several other arrangements for various ensembles made in the early 20th century.

Because the 1904 copyright date likely applies mainly to the piano version, perhaps all the other arrangements came later. We do know that Sousa recorded the rhapsody in 1909, and the scoring of his abridged performance (cut so that it could fit on a 78 rpm record) sounds much the same as M. L. Lake’s version, which was likely published in 1913. So the question, “Is this an original band work?” remains unanswered – at least for now. We do know that this fabulous showpiece has been in the repertoire of some of the world’s finest bands for more than a century.

- Program Note by Kenneth Singleton


State Ratings

  • Louisiana: V
  • Tennessee: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Friedemann, C.; Laurendeau, L.; Lake, M. (1913). Slavonic Rhapsody [score]. Hal Leonard; Milwaukee, Wisc.
  • Girsberger, Russ. Percussion Assignments for Band & Wind Ensemble. Volume I: A-K. Meredith Music Publications, 2004, pp. 99.
  • Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Carl Friedemann." Accessed 14 August 2015*"New Music Reviews." The Instrumentalist, 72/3 (October, 2017), p. 74.
  • Perusal score