The Band Music of Amilcare Ponchielli
The Glory of a Bandmaster
March No. 12 is one of the Piacentine marches who have a Fine clearly marked at the end of the Trio. At the same time, Ponchielli clearly notes the da capo by inserting the two pickup notes to the march in a second ending. As an editorial decision, this has been omitted to make the music conform to modern standards, The interpretation of the "double-dotted" rhythms in the trio is a matter of conjecture. How precisely these notes might be interpreted cannot be know; however, Ponchielli's use of them here is consistent throughout the passage.
This seems a very early march in spite of its actual brevity. If one examines the roster of the Piacentine band, only the single-named Nicari was responsible for the cornet/flugelhorn part. Throughout all of the marches this part has a high tessitura and an unending solo part. This alone suggests the practice of re-orchestrating the music from the podium for the benefit of the player and the quality of the performance, i.e., Nicari was allowed to rest as he essentially was doubling the clarinets at the octave.
Performances: Wednesday, November 29, 1865, Piazza Cavour; Sunday, May 3, 1868, Piazza Cavour; Thursday, September 16, 1869, Piazza Cavour; Thursday, June 23, 1870, Piazza Cavour; Sunday, November 20, 1870, Piazza Cavour; Thursday, December 8, 1872, Piazza Cavour; Thursday, June 23, 1870, Piazza Cavour; Monday, September 8, 1873, Piazza Roma.