This edition is based mainly upon single, autograph scores found in the Biblioteca statale in Cremona, Italy. In 2004, Licia Sirch and Henry Howey discussed general criteria for this particular repertoire in Quarto Seminario di Filologia musicale, Esperienze di lavoro, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Facoltà di Musicologia, Dipartimento di Scienze musicologiche e paleografico-filologiche - Cremona, Palazzo Raimondi, 19-21 maggio 2004 and published in Philomusica on-line. While many of the ideas remain, recent research has slightly modified both content and methodology in creating a critical edition. As noted in the article, special care has been taken regarding the selection of sources for these works from autograph scores or sources of certain provenance.
The six "series" of the edition and their contents can always be seen at the left side of the website page. Any subsets will appear from the tabs, and the individual works will be listed on their own page. When a work is uploaded, its name will become a link in red. For this demonstration website only two works are available: the festive march Piazza Stradivari and the two-clarinet extravaganza II Convegno. All eighty-six potential works are listed.
This edition seeks to combine traditional musical philology with digital resources to create a true "hypertext edition" of this repertoire. Central to this adaptation is the use of MusicXML to access web resources previously unavailable. In addition to an Acrobat PDF of the critical score, an MP3 created using virtual instruments allows one to hear each piece in a near-live environment. All of the initial input from the scores is accomplished using the music notation program Finale. As an experiment, Myriad Music's plugin(that must be downloaded and installed) is also available.
The preservation of this repertoire has been too often happenstance, and this critical edition will enable musicians and scholars re-discover an exciting part of the history of the wind band.
Each work is identified by its opus number from Licia Sirch's thematic catalog and its call number if it is located in the Biblioteca Statale in Cremona. The few works from other sources are identified by opus number only. The opus numbers were created by a work's order in the catalog where the band pieces were among the last. Thus, the seemingly high numbers for the works for band have nothing to do with chronological order. The few works without opus numbers have come to light since 2004.
The model for the "modern" band performance edition is to provide utility for what the modern band has become. Over the years from 1873-1913, many of Ponchielli's works remained in the Cremona band's repertoire. As new instruments were added (like saxophones in 1894), Belforti and his successors created new parts for the new technologies. The modern editions here reflect an "outdoor" band of an international sort as one might find anywhere in the world today. These are intended to reflect the sort of an instrumentation developed by Sousa for his marches, which were even popular in latter day Cremona. There is an 1894 concert listing "La Posta di Washington." No one knew that the title was the name of a newspaper, "The Washington Post."