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Zampa Overture (arr Safranek)

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Ferdinand Hérold

Ferdinand Hérold (arr. V.F. Safranek)

General Info

Year: 1831 / 1912
Duration: c. 8:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score and Parts - Out of Print

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Full Score
Flute I-II-III
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
E-flat Soprano Cornet
B-flat Cornet Solo-I-II
Horn or Alto in E-flat I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
B-flat Tenor Horn
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Snare Drum
  • Triangle


In parts:

  • Timpani. m.1: In the later printing (plate no. 15400-109), the part is missing the B-flat major key signature.

Program Notes

The opera Zampa ou La Fiancée de marbre — Zampa or the Marble Bride -- was premiered at the Opera Comique in Paris on May 3, 1831. A brilliant success, it combined the spirit of Italian music with the depth of German drama and the elegance of the French style.

In the first act of the libretto by Mellesville, Camilli, daughter of Count Lugano, waits for her bridegroom, Alfonso di Monza, a Sicilian officer. Soon the notorious pirate captain, Zampa, enters and tells Camilla that he has captured Alfonso and Lugano and will kill both unless she agrees to marry him. During a drinking bout with his pirates, Zampa puts a bridal ring on the finger of a marble statue representing his rejected bride Alice. In the complicated series of events that follow, Alice comes to life, Alfonso recognizes the evil pirate as his own brother, Camilla and Alfonso are reunited, and the union is blessed by Alice.

Because of its endurance and its quality, this overture is known in the band world as "a warhorse," an "old chestnut," or "a classic." It has tune that are catchy and expressive, dramatic mood contrasts, and an exhilarating finale.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

Zampa, an opera-comique in three acts was first performed on May 3, 1831 at the Opera-Comique in Paris. Since Zampa contained spoken dialogue, it had to be performed at that theater rather than the Paris Opera, which would accept only grand operas.

Zampa has a colorful, if somewhat grisly plot: Zampa, a pirate of exceptionally bad principles, abducts Camilla from her betrothed and forces her to agree to marry him instead. While celebrating his forthcoming wedding, he becomes inebriated and impudently places a ring on the finger of the marble statue of Alice, who died of a broken heart after Zampa had jilted her. The statue comes to life and drags the pirate to his death beneath the sea. Hérold maintained an especially high level of inspiration and originality throughout the score for Zampa. The overture, one of Hérold’s most enduring works, is nowhere near as grim as the plot would suggest, yet it reflects the dramatic impact and musical variety of the work.

- Program Note by the Willamette Valley Symphony Orchestra


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class A
  • Florida: V
  • Georgia: V
  • Kansas: V
  • Louisiana: V
  • New York: Concert Band VI
  • North Carolina: VI
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Tennessee: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Wind Ensemble (Donald Peach, conductor) – 29 April 2019
  • Vienna (VA) Community Band (Cornelius Young, conductor) – 5 November 2017
  • Pomona (Calif.) Concert Band (Linda W. Taylor, conductor) – 18 August 2016
  • Maybrook (N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (Kevin Scott, conductor) – 20 May 2016
  • Allan Hancock College (Santa Maria, Calif.) Concert Band (Greg Orwell, conductor) - 9 May 2015
  • West Orange High School (Winter Garden, Fla.) Wind Symphony (Ken Boyd, conductor) - 8 May 2014

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Hérold, L.; Safranek, V. (1912). Zampa Overture [score]. Carl Fischer: New York.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 282