The Band Music of Amilcare Ponchielli
The Glory of a Bandmaster
Ponchielli first performed this march based on themes from a comic opera -"A Folly at Rome." Frederico Ricci (1809-1877) was a Neapolitan-trained composer who often collaborated with his brother, Luigi Ricci. Ponchielli had already created one of his "glosses" on Ricci's Crispino e la Comare in 1869. Una follia a Roma was also premiered in the same year, and Pochielli's settings of these two "new" works testify to his awareness of the state of the operatic stage throughout Europe.
Marches to compare with this one are Sousa's Fairest of the Fair and El Capitan. The former in terms of its light-hearted spirit, and the latter as having its themes drawn from a stage work. Wikipedia describes Una Follia a Roma as "Offenbachian," revealing an interesting subheading of "Italian operas composed for a Parisian audience." Please note that the trumpet fanfares will not sound properly at a tempo much in excess of 100 M.M.
Performances: Friday, April 26, 1872, Piazza Garibaldi; Sunday, June 2, 1872, Piazza Cavour; Tuesday, August 26, 1873 Piazza Roma