Trauermarsch aus "Saul"

Concert Band

Trauermarsch aus "Saul"
Dead March from Saul

aus dem Oratorium Saul (HWV 53)

Concert March, Classic, March, Trauermusik, Processional march, Classical Transcription
Grade Level:
Performance time:
A5 landscape
Full Score + Parts
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Although Handel originated from the same region of Central Germany as his great contemporary Bach, the two could not be more different in their creative activities. Bach remained rooted mainly in his native Thurinigia and Saxony and in the traditions of Protestant church music, while Handel went forth into the musical world of his time and was influenced particularly by developments in opera during his lengthy sojourns in Italy. Handel’s “Saul” belongs to a series of scenic oratorios based on Old Testament texts which are almost operatic in their drama. The tense contrast between the ageing Saul and the “newcomer” David can hardly be more impressively presented. Murder, intrigue, love and the all-encompassing worship of God by the Israelites are the elements which determine the plot. The “Dead March” forms the central part of the third act and the climax of the entire oratorio. Saul has a foreboding that God has abandoned him because of his disobedience. Because Saul spared the Amalekites (a tribe in the land of Canaan), God has taken his kingdom from him and given it to David. After the battle an Amalekite from the Israelite camp comes to David and tells him of the deaths of Saul and Jonathan. Saul unsuccessfully tried to take his own life and was then slain by the Amalekites. At this point in the oratorio the Dead March is played, a piece whose almost static character impressively reflects the numbness and shock of the Israelites. Due to his interesting instrumentation, Handel’s musical language is colourful, easy to remember and popular. He has no inhibitions about adopting melodies which can be found among the common people.

Siegfried Rundel has succeeded in producing a dignified arrangement of the Dead March from the oratorio “Saul” for wind ensemble. Here Handel is given a further opportunity to display the diversity of his moving music in performance.

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