Academic Festival Overture (tr Hindsley)
This work bears the designation Opus 80.
Contrabassoon and String Bass
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Euphonium (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
- Bass Drum
- Crash Cymbals
None discovered thus far.
Brahms wrote his Academic Festival Overture in 1881 as an acknowledgment of the doctoral degree which had been bestowed on him by Breslau University. The work was first performed at Breslau early in 1881, Brahms himself conducting.
The overture is in reality a fantasia on four student songs. In a letter to his publisher, Brahms wrote, "I advise you to have the Academic arranged for military band. I should be tempted to do it myself if I knew more about it."
- Program Note by Mark Hindsley from Program Notes for Band and Band Music Notes
Academic Festival Overture (German: Akademische Festouvertüre), Op. 80, by Johannes Brahms, was one of a pair of contrasting concert overtures — the other being the Tragic Overture, Op. 81. Brahms composed the work during the summer of 1880 as a musical "thank you" to the University of Breslau, which had awarded him an honorary doctorate the previous year.
Initially, Brahms had contented himself with sending a simple handwritten note of acknowledgment to the University, since he loathed the public fanfare of celebrity. However, the conductor Bernard Scholz, who had nominated him for the degree, convinced him that protocol required him to make a grander gesture of gratitude. The University expected nothing less than a musical offering from the composer. "Compose a fine symphony for us!" he wrote to Brahms. "But well orchestrated, old boy, not too uniformly thick!"
Brahms, who was known to be a curmudgeonly joker, filled his quota by creating a "very boisterous potpourri of student drinking songs à la Suppé" in an intricately designed structure made to appear loose and episodic, thus drawing on the "academic" for both his sources and their treatment.
The work sparkles with some of the finest virtues of Brahms's orchestral technique, sometimes applied for comic effect, such as the bassoons that inflate the light subject of "Fuchslied" (Was kommt dort von der Höh?). The inventive treatment includes tunes appropriated from the student ditties Fuchslied, Wir hatten gebauet ein stattliches Haus, Hört, ich sing das Lied der Lieder, and most memorably, the broad, triumphant finale on Gaudeamus igitur, which succinctly engages Brahms's sophisticated mastery of counterpoint, further fulfilling the "academic" aspect of his program, cheekily applied to the well-worn melody. Brahms manages to evoke ravishing euphoria without sacrificing his commitment to classical balance.
The overture consists of four continuous sections: Allegro (C minor), Maestoso (C major), Animato (G major), Maestoso (C major).
The composer himself conducted the premiere at a special convocation held by the University on January 4, 1881, to the chagrin (and mischievous delight) of many of the academics in the audience. Due to its easily grasped structure, its lyrical warmth, as well as its excitement and humor, the work has remained a staple of today's concert-hall repertoire.
- Program Note from Wikipedia
None discovered thus far.
- Florida: VI
- Georgia: VI
- Iowa: V
- Kansas: VI
- Louisiana: V
- Oklahoma: V-A
- South Carolina: VI
- Tennessee: VI
- Texas: V. Complete
- Virginia: VI
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Pace High School Wind Ensemble (Florida) (Anthony Denaro, conductor) - 4 March 2016
- Carrollton (Texas) Wind Symphony (Jim Moen, conductor) – 6 June 2014
Works for Winds by this Composer
- Academic Festival Overture (arr. Safranek) (1914)
- Academic Festival Overture (tr. Hindsley) (1914/197-?)
- Academic Festival Overture (tr Patterson)
- Begräbnisgesang (ed. Whitwell) (1858/1965)
- Blessed Are They (arr. Buehlman) (1868/1970)
- Blessed Are They Who Mourn (arr. Hanna) (1868)
- Four Serious Songs (arr. Langslet) (1897/2017)
- Funeral Hymn (arr. Westover) (1858/2018)
- How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place (tr. Williams)
- Hungarian Dance No 5 (arr. Laurendeau) (1869/1905)
- Hungarian Dance No. 5 (arr. Longfield) (1869/1996)
- Hungarian Dance No. 5 (arr. Stalter) (1869)
- Hungarian Dance No. 5 (tr. Thompson) (1869/2018)
- Hungarian Dance No 6 (arr. Laurendeau) (1869/1905)
- Hungarian Dances Nos 3, 5, 11 and 16 (arr. Sheen) (1869/1985)
- Hungarian Dances No 7-8 (arr. Brockton) (1922)
- Oyama (1905) (arr. Laurendeau)
- Prelude and Scherzo (arr. Hubbell) (c. 1857 / 1981)
- Symphony No. 4 (arr. Wirgler)
- Three Chorale Preludes (arr. Boyd; ed. Fennell) (1896/1996)
- Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel (1862)
- Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel (tr. Kreines; ed. Johnson) (1862)
- Variations on a Theme by Haydn (tr. Hindsley) (1873/197-?)
- Academic Festival Overture, Wikipedia
- Brahms, J.; Hindsley, M. [197-?]. Academic Festival Overture [score]. [Concert Band Transcriptions]: [Urbana, Ill.]
- Smith, Norman and Albert Stoutamire (1979). Band Music Notes. Rev. ed. San Diego: Kjos West. p. 37
- Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 85.