Overture to "Colas Breugnon" (tr Hunsberger)
The work bears the designation Opus 24.
C Piccolo/Flute III
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
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-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
- Bass Drum
- Crash Cymbals
- Snare Drum
- Suspended Cymbal
None discovered thus far.
Originally composed in 1937, the overture contains a pulsating and driving rhythmic force which is balanced by the flowing secondary theme. As Hunsberger describes, “The orchestral colors are in a class of their own, ranging from overwhelming fortissimos to chamber effects to raucous splashes of wind and percussion energy.”
- Program Note from publisher
As the son of a mathematician, Dmitri Kabalevsky was encouraged by his father to study math and economics. Kabalevsky, however, showed an early aptitude for the arts and started his formal music education at the Scriabin School of Music in Moscow when he was fourteen. He entered the Moscow Conservatory in 1925, where he studied composition with Nikolai Miaskovsky and earned a full professorship in 1939.
Kabalevsky was a composer during a period in Russia’s history that was full of stylistic constraints for artists. His music embodied the Russian government’s music ideology which was reminiscent of Russian folk songs and steered clear of modernism.
Kabalevsky’s first opera, Colas Breugnon: Master of Clamecy, was based a novel of the same name by French author Romain Rolland. The story centers on the love life of a scalawag wood carver, Colas Breugnon, who is antagonized by a villainous Duke. The spirited music in the comedic opera turns dramatic when soldiers return and introduce a plague to the village and the Duke orders the wood carvers’ statues burned. The comedy returns when the wood carver gets revenge on the Duke by carving a statue of the Duke riding backwards on a donkey for the entire village to see and enjoy. The excitement and brisk nature of the overture has not only made it a favorite in orchestra halls, but transcriptions by Harding, Beeler, and Hunsberger for wind band have also ensured its popularity in the wind band genre.
- Program Note from Amador Valley High School Wind Ensemble concert program, 19 December 2013
This overture is a brisk, brilliant, and high-spirited piece, written as the curtain raiser of Kabalevsky's opera based on Romain Rolland's lusty novel of life in Burgundy, France, during the 16th century. The hero of the story has something in him of both Robin Hood and Francois Villon (a French lyric poet who was banished from Paris in 1463), and Kabalevsky has written music admirably fitting this character.
- Program Note by Everett Kisinger from Program Notes for Band and Band Music Notes
- Audio CD: Libertyville High School Wind Ensemble (Donald Shupe, conductor) - 2004
- Audio CD: United States Navy Band (George N. Thompson, conductor) - 2010
- Florida: VI
- Georgia: VI
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- University of Florida (Gainesville) Wind Symphony (David A. Waybright, conductor) – 20 February 2020
- DeKalb (Ill.) High School Wind Ensemble (Steve Lundin, conductor) – 15 November 2019
- Los Alamos (N.M.) Community Winds (Ted Vives, conductor) – 19 October 2019
- Indiana University (Bloomington) Concert Band (Jason H. Nam, conductor) – 6 April 2019
- Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.) Wind Orchestra (Mark Scatterday, conductor) – 4 February 2019
- State University of New York, Fredonia, Wind Symphony (Donna Dolson, conductor) – 4 September 2018
- Northern Illinois University (DeKalb) Wind Ensemble (Thomas Bough, conductor) – 28 February 2018
- Wheaton North High School Wind Ensemble (Kent Krause, conductor) - 27 February 2018
- West Chester University (Penn.) Wind Symphony (M. Gregory Martin, conductor) – 15 February 2018
- North Shore Senior High School (Houston, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (Shane Goforth, conductor) - 22 December 2017 (2017 Midwest Clinic)
- University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Wind Ensemble (Emily Threinen, conductor) – 12 December 2017
- Western Reserve Community Band (Hudson, Ohio) (Ralph Meyer, conductor) – 22 April 2017
- Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) Wind Ensemble (Damon S. Talley, conductor) – 4 October 2016
- University of Georgia (Athen) Hodgson Wind Symphony (Jaclyn Hartenberger, conductor) – 19 September 2016
- University of Texas (Austin) Wind Symphony (Scott Hanna, conductor) – 6 April 2016
- Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) Wind Orchestra (David Blackinton, conductor) - 5 March 2015
- Eastman Wind Orchestra (Mark Davis Scatterday, conductor) - 24 November 2014
- Austin Civic Wind Ensemble (Texas) (Robert Laguna, conductor) - 9 November 2014
- Amador Valley (Pleasanton, Calif.) High School Wind Ensemble I (Jonathan Grantham, conductor) - 19 December 2013 (2013 Midwest Clinic)
- Merit School of Music Wind Symphony (Bryan Polacek, conductor) - 27 April 2013
- Libertyville (Ill.) High School Wind Ensemble (Donald Shupe, conductor) – 17 December 2004 (2004 Midwest Clinic)
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Comedians' Galop (arr. Jennings) (1940/2006)
- Comedians' Galop (scored Leidzén) (1940/1948)
- Contrasts on a Theme of Corelli (ar Hull)
- Galop (arr. Mitchell) (1940/)
- Overture to "Colas Breugnon" (trans. Beeler) (1937/1967)
- Overture to "Colas Breugnon" (trans. Hunsberger) (1937/2003)
- Sonatina (ar Holcombe)
- Suite in a Minor Mode
- Three Rondos (ar Ryden)
- Kabalevsky, D.; Hunsberger, D. (1937). Overture to Colas Breugnon [score]. Schirmer: Chester, N.Y.
- Smith, Norman and Albert Stoutamire (1979) Band Music Notes. Rev. ed. San Diego: Kjos West, p. 129
- Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 334.