The Band Music of Amilcare Ponchielli
The Glory of a Bandmaster
Viva l'esposizione di Cremona must have been a popular piece as it comes to us today only as a copy from the era of Raffaele Coppola. The large format score may be in either Coppola or Belforti's hand. The doubled cornet and flugelhorn parts bespeak a late score, and a "Viva l'esposizione di Vienna" can be found in the concert progams of July and August, 1873, Ponchielli's last days in Cremona. For an unknown reason, the catalog that Belforti prepared around 1880 lists not a single march. The odd part about this march's possible history is that it seems to have been performed after the time when Ponchielli was assumed to have left the band, namely March of 1873.
The score gives no Fine nor specifies a da capo; however, ending this march with the Trio sounds abrupt and unsatisfying. Harmonically the march has more abrupt juxtapositions of unrelated chords to make it seem very experimental. The unison low brass passage beginning in measure 23 is very appealing and suggests a very mature work
By the time the extant score was produced, two changes had occurred in the band - the student on the E-flat cornet had been omitted, and A-flat clarinetist Vittorio Franchini had left the band. A piccolo part has been substituted for the A-flat clarinet; however, the editor has returned the part to the "original" instrumentation based on Ponchielli's writing for this instrument. The E-flat cornet part was never more than a simplified doubling of the solo cornet part, and no attempt has been made to/ resurrect it. Though a BB-flat Pelittone was available, the usual two-part E-flat/F bombardone part is all that is present here.
Performances: (as L'Esposizione of Vienna) July 7, 1873, Piazza Roma; August 8, 1873, Piazza Garibaldi