The original Merry Widow does not have an overture. As you might know from the Merry Widow Selections, the music starts at the "introduction" and goes directly into the story. However, several "overtures" do exist, arranged independently and specifically for concert performance. The composer Franz Lehár himself wrote one, and some are arrangements by other composers such as Robert Stolz. The Lehar score is unpublished, yet there is a recording conducted by the composer himself, which is the basis of this arrangement for band.
The structure is like a simple medley, yet the main melody from the operetta is used as a developmental theme throughout the arrangement. After one listen, you will determine which scene the motive is taken from. The original scoring is rather long, so the redundant sections and parts relegated to strings have been eliminated.
This arrangement came from a request by Takeshi Inou, director at Meisei Gakuin High School. He said "I´d like a small band version of your first Merry Widow Selections." In "Selections No. 1", I took into account differences between orchestra and wind band. For example, I unified the time signatures to duple only. I did not want to use triple meters too frequently. This is because I felt that in wind band, triple meters are a challenge especially for younger school bands and directors. Hence, I did not select "Merry Widow Waltz" for No.1.
However, No. 2 is of the contrary. I thought more openly about not having technical limitations and considered triple meter songs such as the waltz. Meanwhile, I discovered the Lehár arrangement of the overture, which led to this composition. I did not score detailed articulation or dynamics. This is because there are things that cannot be portrayed with notation (timbre, phrasing, beat feel, groove, etc.) I believe this is the real thrill of music. Therefore, I have provided only minimal expression. I would like to hear performers expressing this piece to their fullest.
Flute 1 & 2
BbClarinet 1 & 2 (all div.)
Alto Saxophone 1 & 2
Trumpet 1 & 2
Horn 1 & 2
Trombone 1 & 2
[Percussion] from 3 players