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Classical Music

Music In The Making: Get Ready For March

This week, we listen to many styles of musical marches to celebrate the beginning of March.


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On this week’s episode of Music in the Making, we’re listening to many styles of musical marches to celebrate the beginning of March!

Paul Hindemith – Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber – IV. Marsch

Texas Music Festival Orchestra; Franz Anton Krager, conductor

Moores Opera House


Our first selection is one of Paul Hindemith’s most popular works, a suite of four movements based on works by Carl Maria von Weber. Weber, a 19th century German composer, was mostly known for his operas and virtuosic clarinet compositions. However, Hindemith used a set of Weber’s incidental music to create this work. This particular movement, the march, is the most well-known of the composition and is frequently performed as a stand alone concert piece.

Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, “Eroica” – II. Marcia Funebre

Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra; Larry Rachleff, conductor

Stude Concert Hall


In contrast to our last piece, this next march is much more solemn and plodding. And perhaps that’s because this particular selection is a funeral march. Beethoven’s Third Symphony is well-known for many reasons, but one of those is the story of it’s dedication. Beethoven had initially dedicated this work to Napoleon Bonaparte, but once he had crowned himself Emperor of France, he angrily took back the dedication. He instead wrote “composed to celebrate the memory of a great man.” After this, many believe that this movement suggest a “funeral” for the version of Napoleon that Beethoven grew to respect.

Folk Revival: A portrait of Vaughan Williams in 1919 by William Rothenstein

Ralph Vaughan Williams – English Folk Song Suite

Moores School Symphony Orchestra; James F. Keene, conductor

Moores Opera House


In the early twentieth century, many English composers developed a fondness for their country’s folk music. Ralph Vaughan Williams was the clear leader of this folk revival, and this next selection is one of his greatest pieces to have came from it. This suite contains a march, intermezzo, followed by another march. Throughout the movements, Vaughan Williams quotes many folk songs, including “Seventeen Come Sunday,” “Green Bushes,” and “Blow Away the Morning Dew.”

Pyotr Tchaikovsky – Marche slave

Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra; Larry Rachleff, conductor

Stude Concert Hall


While this next selection has become popular in concert halls across the world, it also holds deep historical and cultural roots. Marche slave was commissioned and written during the Serbo-Turkish War in the late nineteenth century in support of wounded Serbian veterans. It is also sometimes known as the Serbo-Russian March. As you listen to this work, you’ll also hear the tune “God Save the Tsar” which Tchaikovsky famously wrote in his 1812 Overture.

John Philip Sousa, arr. Richard Franko Goldman – The Free Lance March

Moores School Symphonic Winds; Marion West, conductor

Moores Opera House


To close the program, we’ll feature a work by the March King himself. John Philip Sousa certainly worked hard to earn that title, as he composed 137 marches throughout his lifetime, many that are still frequently performed today. His most famous work, “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” is the National March of the United States.

This episode originally aired Sunday, March 6th, 2016. Catch Music in the Making every Sunday at 7:06 PM on Classical 91.7.