Franz von Suppe (1819-1895) was considered the "Father of Viennese Operetta", famous for his operettas and their overtures. His music features Viennese elegance, lightness, and Italian-style melodic beauty. The operetta "Pique Dame Ouverture" (The Queen of Spades) which premiered in Graz in 1864, is actually a rework of Suppe's second operetta, "Die Kartenschlagerin" (The Fortune Teller) in 1862. It is based on a play by the Russian literary giant Pushkin, but due to its lighthearted content, it is rarely performed today, with only this lively overture performed. This arrangement, in a medley format, showcases Suppe's distinctive style, especially the flute duet in the middle and the energetic cancan towards the end. This arrangement was commissioned by Kikonai Junior High School wind orchestra (director Junya Nakajo) in Kikonai-Town, Hokkaido. With this work, the wind orchestra won Gold at the 12th East Japan School Band Festival in 2012.
The premiere's personnel included:
Picc.(1) , Fl.(3), Eb Cl.(1), Bb Cl.(5), B.Cl.(1), A.Sax.(3), T.Sax(2), B.Sax.(1),
Trp.(2), Fl.Hrn.(1), Hrn.(1), Trb.(2), Euph.(1), Tuba (1), Perc.(4) - totaling 29 players
This arrangement allows smaller school bands to enjoy and become familiar with this famous piece without compromising its color and orchestration. I paid attention to avoiding unnecessary performance difficulties.
Furthermore, the following considerations have been made:
-The original key is D major, but to make it easier to perform for wind orchestra, it has been transposed up a semitone to Eb major. There is no modulation to # keys in the middle of the piece.
-Oboe, bassoon, Eb clarinet, string bass, and marimba are optional and cue notes are provided.
-Trumpet, horn, and trombone parts can be played by only 2 players each.
-Some articulations have been changed to reduce difficulty while not diminishing performance quality.
-Playable by around 20 players.
I hope that many bands will enjoy performing while immersing themselves in the elegant Viennese atmosphere. This arrangement is based on the revised orchestral score by Howard K. Wolf from KALMUS ORCHESTRA LIBRARY.