\"The Merry Widow\" Overture (SCORE)

"The Merry Widow" Overture (SCORE)

  • Composer: Leh├ír, Franz
  • Arrenger: Suzuki, Eiji
  • Grade: 4.5
  • Duration: 7:00
  • Genre: Concert Band
  • Publisher: Brain Music
  • Item No: ZOMS-A102A

Flute 1
Flute 2
Oboe (optional)
Bassoon (optional)
Bb Clarinet 1
Bb Clarinet 2
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone 1
Eb Alto Saxophone 2
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone

Bb Trumpet 1
Bb Trumpet 2
F Horn 1
F Horn 2
Trombone 1
Trombone 2
String Bass (optional)

[Percussion 1] Crash Cymbals, Bass Drum, Suspended Cymbal, Wind Chime, Tambourine, Tam-tam, Snare Drum
[Percussion 2] Wind Chime, Marimba, Vibraphone, Crash Cymbals, Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Wood Block, Suspended Cymbals
[Percussion 3] Glockenspiel, Marimba

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score is unpublished, yet there is a recording conducted by the composer himself, which is the basis of this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
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.