Der Zigeunerbaron

Concert Band

Der Zigeunerbaron

Ouvertüre zur Operette
The Gypsy Baron (Overture)
Le Baron Tzigane (Ouverture)

Overture, Operetta / Light Opera
Grade Level:
Performance time:
Full Score + Parts
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It took Johann Strauss (son) a long time to finish his operetta “The Gipsy King”. Before its premier at the Vienna Theatre in 1885, Strauss worked two years to create the three acts that were based on a novella by Maurus Jókai. “The Gypsy King” is one of Stauss’ most successful dramatic works, still popular today. Its plot revolves around the area of Temesvár in 1741. 25 years after the Battle of Belgrad, Sándor Barinkay returns to the home of his outcast father. The parental manors have been taken and in the beginning Barinkay falls in love with a woman who mocks him because of his lost title. Then he meets the beautiful girl Saffi, whom he marries despite her gypsy origins – which causes more mockery. When he locates a treasure, its loss having caused his father to be outcast, a big fight ensues over the money. As it turns out, Saffi is the daughter of the Turkish pasha, who had to flee and leave his daughter for protection with the gypsies, who raised her like their own daughter. Barinkay goes to war to clear his good name and prove worthiness for Saffi. After his return, he is titled baron and enjoys his happiness with Saffi.

In the music of his “Gypsy Baron”, Strauß portrays differences between the noble Austrian society and the passionate Gypsies in an ornate manner. He wittily and charmingly combines the music of opposing lifestyles, e.g. by contrasting Viennese polkas and waltzes with alternately melancholic and vigorous Gypsy music. This adaptation of “The Gypsy Baron Overture” is musically and technically challenging for all instruments. It is most effective when the performers rapidly switch between the varied sentiments and musical styles and bring both the Austrian snide humor (“Schmäh”) and Gypsy exotica to life.

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