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During his Linz, Austria tenure as cathedral organist, Anton Bruckner studied music theory with Simon Sechter, who attested to his excellence and diligence. Upon completing Sechter’s rigorous course, Bruckner then studied composition and scoring with the local opera house conductor, Otto Kitzler. Kitzler was among the first to stage Wagner’s operas, and the expanded harmonic and tonal palette hit Bruckner like a stray planet.
In 1862 Kitzler gave Bruckner the "Apollo-Marsch" by Keler Bela as a model. Bruckner arranged it for the standard Austrian infantry band, and for over a century the march was wrongly attributed to Bruckner. After hearing Wagner’s music, Bruckner stuck to Bela’s form but greatly expanded the harmony and scoring. After completing his own E-flat march in 1865, he submitted it to the local military bands. Having shattered the 4-chord mold, the local military bands quickly rejected the march despite Bruckner’s growing fame.
Since wind band instrumentation has greatly changed since 1865, Bornhoft produced a modern edition in 1996. The premiere Desire Dondenye/Paris Municipal Police Band recording (1976) simply transposed the parts Bruckner wrote for now-moribund wind instruments. My arrangement seeks to combine the transparency of Bruckner’s original with present-day scoring practices and instrumentation.
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