Cat No.JM75856 Price
£64.95 Composer: Philip Harper Category: TEST PIECES (Major Works)
Set as the Third Section Test piece for the 2018 Regional Brass Band Championships of Great Britain.
Duration approx. 10.00 Commissioned by the Jugend Brass Band Forum Ostschweitz, Switzerland 2016
This piece is based on the famous oil painting by jacques-Louis David, ‘Napoleon Crossing the Alps’, painted between l80l and i805 and reproduced on the front cover here, The image shows Napoleon on horse-back as he leads his army across the Swiss Alps, and is highly idealized with the great French commander wearing a ﬂowing red cape and gesturing self-conﬁdently with his right hand.
The ﬁrst part of the music is called ‘Approaching the Great Saint-Bernard Pass’ and depicts the snowy mountains looming in the distance and the determined march of the Napoleonic Army towards the crossing.
The second part is called ‘The Emperor Napoleon’ and we hear the great leader arrive on the scene with a noble and heroic theme, accompanied by stately fanfares with an exotic ﬂavour. Before a full-toned recapitulation of the theme there is a brief quotation of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 ‘The Eroica' which is dedicated to Napoleon and his revolutionary ideals.
The third part is called ‘Onwards, to the Empire!‘ and the music describes Napoieon’s relentless drive to expand the French empire across the globe at the beginning of the nineteenth century. A solo fanfare from the cornet leads the charge and, one by one, everyone else takes up the call to arms as the music marches to its triumphant conclusion.
This piece was ﬁrst performed directly in front of the Napoleon Museum in Arenenberg, Switzerland in Summer 2016.
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