The Band Music of Amilcare Ponchielli
The Glory of a Bandmaster
Marcia No. 4 is one of the many "Italian" marches Ponchielli turned out in droves during his years in Piacenza. The score has an interesting note that the "Pelittone should be voiced one octave lower." Vincenzo Zavaroni is listed as Pelittone in the Piacenza band; however, he is principal bombardone in Cremona and Roberto Haagen (as a student) is assigned the position of Pelittone. The present edition includes this little note, but the exact realization of the part remains uncertain.
Those who would like to have an idea of how Ponchielli might have assigned the Pelittone part should examine the scores of Marcia No. 5 and Marcia No. 6. These two scores (copied by demoted Austrian-born Vicemaestro Johannes Haagen) may offer a view into Ponchielli's ideas about how to incorporate the BB-flat Pelittone in his scores. The lowest note on the E-flat bombardone is A1. In Marcia No. 6, Johannes Haagen has scored the BB-flat Pelittone down to F1 (measure 92). In Marcia No. 5, the low note is A-flat1 (measure 3). Curiously, very few other works mention the Pelittone or how Ponchielli wanted to use its extended low register.
Performances: None can be ascertained