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Военная музыка

Немецкие марши

In order to assist the regiments of the Army in the choice of good military music, I have commanded a collection of proven musical pieces to be prepared, and a set of them to be supplied to each regiment...

It was to this decree of King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia that the Prussian army owed its famous col­lection of army marches. It is a noteworthy fact that this collection contains not only Prussian pieces but also many from other countries, above all from Russia, and naturally from Austria. The collection of army marches was initiated in Prussia as early as 1817, and was frequently added to through the years, but no similarly systematic and comprehensive collection of marches was made in Austria. It was only from 1905 onwards that the regiments and other units of the imperial Austrian army were supplied with official "march past" music, corresponding to the parade marches used by the Prussian army. The "Procedure for the Imperial and Royal Army" of 1905 gave, for the first time, a list of "historical marches and other compositions" for the Austrian army. This was a selection of 51 marches, the exact number needed to provide an official march past for each unit. The traditional numbering of army marches used in Germany (here abbreviated AM) was not employed in the Austrian army. The stylistic dif­ferences between Prussian-German and Austrian marches are unmistakable. While the typical Prussian march reflects an unqualified sense of duty and patri­otic enthusiasm, Austrian tunes are distinguished by their springy, almost dancelike lightness. In a word, even in their marches Austrians are stylish.



The original title of this march was "March for His Imperial Highness the Archduke Anton, by Ludwig van Beethoven, 1809". Later that year Beethoven (1770-1827) altered the title to "March for the Bo­hemian Militia", and wrote a new march for the Arch­duke Anton. The composer rescored these two marches for an equestrian display given in honour of the Empress on 24 August 1810, entitling them "Two marches for military band..." About 1822/23 Beethoven added a Trio to the two marches and entitled them "Tattoos Nos. 1 and 3". The best-known of these marches was the first, which took the name of the "Yorck Corps" around 1813; it was included under its present title in the Prussian March Collection of 1817. In the present recording this march is heard in an arrangement by the author.


Probably composed in 1816 by a teacher named Scholz from Torgau. The name of this march cannot, therefore, be connected with the Battle of Torgau. King Friedrich Wilhelm III was so pleased with this piece that in 1817 he took it back with him on his return to Berlin from one of his journeys. However, this Saxon march was not included in the Army March Collection until 1891. The virtuoso cornet player and later professor at the Berlin Academy of Music, Julius Kosleck (1825-1905), wrote an effective fanfare for it.


Typical of Austrian marches is this composition by Ferdinand Preis, written in 1852 and incorporating the melody of a patriotic song of the same name by Franz von Suppe (1819-95). Preis (1831-64) was conduc­tor of the military band in the 38th Imperial and Royal Infantry Regiment. Until 1938 the officers at the Theresa Military Academy in Vienna Neustadt marched to the sound of this music. Ferdinand Preis also composed the celebrated "Trautenau Battle March", which was played at the storm­ing of the Kapellenberg near Trautenau (1866).

Curiously enough this march, which sounds utterly Viennese, is by a Berliner; it was written by Wilhelm Lindemann (1882-1941), who made use in it of tunes ("Grillenbanner" and "Accelerations") by the Waltz King Johann Strauss (1825-99). Although this piece was not included as an official "march past" of the Austrian army, it soon became one of the most pop­ular marches in both Austria and Germany. Lindemann, known as Fritze Bollmann, was especial­ly renowned for his hunting and Wanderlied marches. He attained his greatest popularity, however, with the waltz song "Trink, trink, Briiderlein trink".

Although this fine, stately march is named after the horsemen of the Great Elector of Brandenburg (1640-88), it does not date from that period. Cuno Count von Moltke (1847-1923) wrote this march at the end of the 19th century and dedicated it to Kaiser Wilhelm II. It was assigned as slow parade march to the Breslau 1 st Regiment of Life Guards, "Grosser Kurfurst", which Count von Moltke commanded from 1896 until 1899.

This work is probably by the court conductor at Gotha, Johann Heinrich Walch (1776-1855). According to Kinsky-Halm, however, the composer is Ludwig van Beethoven; a piano arrangement was issued by a Leipzig publisher around 1860 under Beet­hoven's name. It is a fascinating piece, whose dy­namic level increases by steps from piano to fortissimo. The dancelike Trio provides contrast. This march very quickly won international popularity. The allied Aus­trian, Prussian and Russian armies entered Paris in March 1814 to the sound of this music. Before the last war this was the presentation march of the flying corps.

One of the most outstanding bandmasters of the impe­rial Austrian army, Josef Franz Wagner (1856-1908), wrote this march, naming it after the State emblem of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. His catchy and appealing marches earned for Wagner the popular nickname "Wagner the March King". Some 250 of his 800 compositions were published. Many of his works are still in the repertoire of military bands all over the world, notably the "47th Regiment March", the "Tiro-lean Holzhackerbuab'n" and the "Gigerl March". In the Federal Austrian army the march "Under the Double Eagle" was assigned to the 1 st/Artillery Regi­ment 2.

The composer of this famous and popular march, Karl Muhlberger (1857-1944) was originally a pupil of Joseph Hellmesberger; he became a military bands­man, drum major, and finally bandmaster to the 1st Regiment of Tirolean Imperial Marksmen. A striking feature of this march is its impressive Introduction, with the first bars of the National Anthem. Its high-spot, however, is its conclusion, with the song of the "Imperial Marksmen of the First Regiment". In the first Federal Austrian army this march was assigned to the 4th Battalion of Alpine Marksmen as a march past. Since 1967 it has been the traditional march of the 22nd Battalion of Marksmen, a unit which continues the tradition of the former Regiments of Tirolean Imperial Marksmen.

This, one of the world's most attractive and popular concert marches, was written by Julius Fucik (1872-1916), bandmaster of the 86th Hungarian In­fantry Regiment in Budapest. He composed some 240 works, almost all of which became popular. These include such well-known pieces as "Children of the Regiment" and "Entry of the Gladiators", together with his well-known overture "Marinarella" and the waltz "Tales of the Danube".

This is also known as the "Swedish Cavalry March", and it is one of the earliest marches included in the recording. Its tunes probably go back to the time of the Thirty Years' War, although the Trio cannot have been added until after 1750. A sister of Kaiser Wil­helm II, Princess Charlotte of Sachsen-Meiningen, took this march back to Germany following a visit to Sweden, and it was arranged for the German Army by Friedrich Wilhelm Voigt, later to become Inspector of Army Music. This simple yet dignified march soon became extremely popular. Numerous regiments, particularly of dragoons, chose it as their parade march.

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