Thunder and Lightning Polka (Strauss)

From Wind Repertory Project
Johann Strauss Jr.

Johann Strauss Jr. (adapt. and arr. Alfred Reed)

Subtitle: Unter Donner und Blitz

This works bears the designation Opus 324.

General Info

Year: 1868 / 1999
Duration: c. 3:05
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: C.L. Barnhouse
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $65.00   |   Score Only (print) - $7.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
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 Cornet I-II
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

"Esteemed Sirs! I have the honour of placing before the honoured Committee the title of Sternschnuppe for a composition, specifically a 'schnellpolka', intended for the Hesperus Ball. Yours respectfully, Johann Strauss".

Thus runs the text of an undated letter to the Vienna Artists' Association, 'Hesperus', written on behalf of the composer by his wife, Jetty, but signed by Strauss himself. Research suggests that this correspondence dates from 18 January 1868. On 6 February that year the Neues Wiener Tagblatt announced: "For the Hesperus Ball, which takes place on Sunday 16th of this month in the Dianasaal, Messrs Johann, Josef and Eduard Strauss have promised 3 novelties with the titles: Sternschnuppe, Extempore and Freie Gedanken". This is the very last mention of Johann's Schnell-Polka Sternschnuppe (Shooting Star).

- Program Note from Eugene Ormandy recording in YouTube

Apparently, although not authoritatively documented, the Sternschnuppe was eventually retitled Unter Donner und Blitz or Thunder and Lightning.


State Ratings

  • North Carolina: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Texas A&M University (Lubbock) Concert Band (Russell Tipton, conductor) - 28 April 2019
  • Tar River Community Band (Greenville, N.C.) (James E. Mauser, Jr., conductor) – 23 March 2019
  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Symphonic Band (Mark Norman, conductor) – 27 February 2018
  • Taylor University (Upland, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Al Harrison, conductor) – 1 November 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works