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Prelude to Act III from "Lohengrin"

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Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner (trans. Hindsley)


General Info

Year: 1850 / 197-?
Duration: c. 2:50
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hindsley Transcriptions
Cost: Score and Parts - $44.00   |   Score Only - $8.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Eb Contrabass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Cornets I-II-III
Bb Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
Tuba
String Bass
Timpani
Percussion, including:

  • Crash Cymbals
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

In this brief and bright prelude there is not a summary of Act III, nor even a hint of impending disaster and tragedy, simply only a joyous preliminary to the procession that escorts Lohengrin and Elsa to the bridal chamber. It starts off with immense spirit, the music leaping straight up, hesitating for a moment on a cross accent, then, after a crash of cymbals, sliding off into more regular rhythm. The melody in the bass that follows, and the more tender strains of the middle portion, are familiar to everyone nowadays -- in fact, so familiar that we are likely to overlook the intense originality of the whole thing.

- Program Note by transcriber


Lohengrin is a Romantic opera in three acts composed and written by Richard Wagner, first performed in 1850. The story of the eponymous character is taken from medieval German romance, notably the Parzival of Wolfram von Eschenbach and its sequel, Lohengrin, written by a different author, itself inspired by the epic of Garin le Loherain. It is part of the Knight of the Swan tradition.

- Program Notes from Wikipedia


Lohengren was first produced at Weimar in 1850, under the direction of Franz Liszt. The legend of the Holy Grail was the inspiration for the story of the opera. Lohengren, keeper of the Holy Grail, appears as a knight in silver armor to defend Elsa of Brabant, unjustly accused of killing her brother, Godfrey, heir to the Duchy of Brabant. Victorious in combat with Telramund, Elsa's accuser, Lohengren marries Elsa, after having extracted from her the promise that she will never inquire his name nor descent. When she, unfortunately, breaks her promise, Lohengren publicly reveals his identity as Keeper of the Holy Grail and announces that he is compelled to leave the earth since his identity is known. As he is about to leave in a boat drawn by a swan, Telramund's fervent supplication breaks the sorceress' spell and Godfrey appears in his original form. As Lohengren glides away, Elsa falls, unconscious, in her brother's arms.

The present work is the instrumental introduction to the third act, which is followed by the festal music for the wedding of Elsa and Lohengren. The introduction is neither traditional nor conventional, but is the free development of two strongly contrasting themes, with an interlude on a third theme.

The second theme, a period consisting of a phrase of four measures, twice repeated, rising a third each time, is an exceedingly impressive one. It is of this period that Berlioz wrote: "Nothing comparable to this can perhaps be found in all music for grandiose vigor, force and brilliancy; launched forth by the brass instruments in unison, this theme turns the strong beats (Db, F, Ab in band) at the beginning of the three phrases into as many cannon shots which make the listener's breast quake."

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


Audio Links


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Florida: V
  • Georgia: VI
  • Iowa: V
  • Louisiana: IV
  • Tennessee: V
  • Virginia: VI


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project


Works for Winds by this Composer


References

  • Lohengrin (Wagner), Wikipedia
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 620.
  • Wagner, R.; Hindsley, M. [197-?]. Lohengrin: Introduction to Act III [score]. Hindsley Transcriptions: Homewood, Ill.