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Marble Surface

Johann Schrammel

Meran Marsch, Op. 103

Arr. by CPE Strauss

00:00 / 03:13

My arrangement of this march by Johann Schrammel. It would have been written for a Schrammel quartet (G clarinet, two violins and an overly complicated guitar) but works well for orchestra. The only slight issue is in the trio, marked “Jodler aus dem steirischen Volkslied Erzherzog Johann” which was likely to have been written for the G clarinet in its highest register. It doesn’t have quite the same effect accompanied by a full orchestra but I couldn’t think of anything that would work better.

There are a couple of recordings on youtube which illustrate the problems associated with interpretation of this kind of music. Do you play what’s in the score, which could be a bit inflexible, or do you “interpret” it? Listening to modern recordings of this style of music, as well as some literal performances there appears to be two extremes of interpretation: Played on a huge orchestra by a Great Conductor perhaps more attuned to Richard Strauss than Johann; Played by a small ensemble, often with glasses of beer in front of them, in a sentimental style.

First -
This is by the Classical Vienna Schrammel Quartet. Despite saying “arr. for string quartet”, it is a genuine Schrammel Quartet. It is played in strict tempo and has the distinctive sound (and intonation!) of the high g clarinet.

Second -
This is by the Neue Wiener Concert Schrammel which is a more modern version of the Schrammel Quartet with an accordion replacing the high clarinet. The sound is very different and the style even more so.

Neither plays the repeats or da capo, actually written out in my score.

Which is right? Well, they both are. I think the first one is more what the composer would have expected, certainly in sound. As to style, all of the early recordings of Schrammel marches I can find, played by Schrammel Quartets (as opposed to military bands which must play in tempo), are played in strict tempo.

Having said that, in all of the pictures of the original Schrammel Quartet I have seen, they seem to have glasses of beer in front of them.

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