Telegraph-Galop

(1844)
H.C. Lumbye
Symphony orchestra and wind orchestra: 2.1.2.1/2.4.1.1/perc/archi + 1.1.3.2/2.1cnt.2.3.1/perc
Symphony orchestra
4:00
2020
DCM.003
B4, 28 pages

During the first years of Tivoli Garden’s history, allegiances in the music life of the amusement park were decidedly split between Lumbye’s orchestra (known as The Lumbye Society) and the First Brigade’s Brass Band under the direction of the regimental bandleader Henrik Braunstein (known as The Braunstein Brass Band). These two ensembles often appeared in the setting of a certain form of reciprocal musical rivalry. As a playful commentary on this musical competition, Lumbye composed his Telegraph Gallop, end-dated 10 May 1844, which was performed by both ensembles, playing simultaneously, albeit at opposite ends of the concert hall. With its intricate interactions going on between the two orchestral groups which, in a musical respect, are “telegraphing” various melodies to each other, the gallop has been conceived in a most refined and sophisticated fashion. At the outset, the “connection” between the two ensembles is somewhat indistinct because at the start of the piece, they are playing in different keys, but gradually they manage to find each other and converge in a common key; in the end, symphony orchestra and brass band are united in perfect harmony.

The Telegraph Gallop, which was premiered in Tivoli’s Concert Hall on 11 June 1844, is dedicated, on the printed piano edition of the work, to Tivoli’s founder, “Agent George [sic] Carstensen, with the utmost respect”. The gallop quickly became one of Lumbye’s most popular works in the audience’s estimation.

The Telegraph Gallop is published by the Danish Centre for Music Publication of the Royal Library in cooperation with Edition·S – music¬sound¬art.


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