Entrance of the Gladiators

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"Entrance of the Gladiators" op. 68 or "Entry of the Gladiators" (Czech: Vjezd gladiátorů, German: Einzug der Gladiatoren) is a military march composed in 1897 by the Czech composer Julius Fučík. He originally titled it "Grande Marche Chromatique," reflecting the use of chromatic scales throughout the piece, but changed the title based on his personal interest in the Roman Empire.

In 1901, American publisher Carl Fischer published a version of this march, arranged for American wind bands by Canadian composer Louis-Philippe Laurendeau, under the title "Thunder and Blazes."[1] It was during this period that the piece gained lasting popularity as a screamer march[2] for circuses, often used to introduce clowns. Today it is known mainly by this association. Laurendeau's version was also transcribed for fairground organs. The march receives the occasional concert hall performance, such as at the 2007 Last Night of the Proms.[3]

Generally, the march is divided into three parts. The first part contains the melody that the trumpet keeps and the several supporting parts. The second third is the section where the low brass (mainly the tubas) take over with the chromatic scale like role. Finally there is a trio, or a softer melodic section, where there is a strong balance between woodwinds and low brass. The trio has a part similar to the second third with a chromatic scale-like sound. The piece is written in cut time and is originally written to be played at standard march tempo, but when played as a screamer it is usually played much faster.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ "Thunder and Blazes | BandMusic PDF Library". www.bandmusicpdf.org. Retrieved 2015-11-18. 
  2. ^ Latten, James E.; Chevallard, Carl (September 2004). "Review: Teaching Music Through Performing Marches". Music Educators Journal. MENC_ The National Association for Music Education. 91 (1): 62–63. doi:10.2307/3400112. JSTOR 3400112. 
  3. ^ Edward Seckerson (2007-09-11). "Last Night of the Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London". The Independent. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 

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