The Band Music of Amilcare Ponchielli
The Glory of a Bandmaster
Marcia No. 2, Democrazia is a 6/8 march, though definitely from Piacenza. Most of the Piacenza marches are only identified by number, so the "Democracy" name is noteworthy. The autograph score displays some of Ponchielli's more annoying failings. The largest is the seeming omission of a first trumpet part altogether. In the interest of continuity, the editor has created the first trumpet part after Ponchielli's common instruction to double the E-flat clarinet part at the octave. Except for the oversight regarding the first trumpet part, this score is a twin of Arrivo del Re. Ponchielli's penchant for shorthand is particularly evident in m.8 where the horns and trumpets 2-5 are notated to play the sixth eighth note in the bar in spite of the cessation of this figure in the trombones and flicornobasso. This seems to have been intentional.
As in the case with Arrivo del Re, Democrazia should be accessible to even very young bands. Some of the parts (first cornet, first and second clarinets, and euphonium) are especially difficult. Also, the tuba parts are intended for true bass tubas in F or E-flat. BB-flat tubas may play only the lower parts of the tuba part while bassoon, bass clarinet, and baritone saxophone have been assogned the upper notes of the original "Bassi" part.