The Band Music of Amilcare Ponchielli
The Glory of a Bandmaster
Sogni di Guerra - "Dreams of War" is one of the last marches Ponchielli composed while a bandmaster. The score gives October 15, 1869 as its composition date. Oddly, Ponchielli has mysteriously written "Manati - Marcia" as its "working" title. On a sardonic note he also writes "composta nel di lui negozio" or "composed in his own shop." 1869 surely was one of Ponchielli's lowest points when it must have seemed his lot was to remain a bandmaster for the rest of his life. A sign of hope may have been his note that it was completed on the day of St. Theresa of Avila, who experienced raptures when at her lowest.
One of the best parts of this march is the Trio with its ostinato. The percussion parts, one must remember, are only bare representations of the actual performance. The bass drummer added a cymbal part, and the snare drummer ornamented his part with rudiments.
Performances: Sunday, October 31, 1869, Piazza Garibaldi; Sunday, April 17, 1870, Piazza Garibaldi