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Festival March, Opus 54
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The buoyant, yet majestic Festival March, op. 54, was composed in 1879, a year after two of Dvorák's most enduring works: the Slavonic Dances, op. 46, and the Serenade for Wind Instruments in d-minor, op. 44. Originally for orchestra, the march was premiered in honor of the 25th wedding anniversary of King Franz Joseph I and Empress Elisabeth of Austria. The opening fanfare figure serves as the main motive, interspersed with an array of joyous and rhythmic themes well-suited for the celebratory occasion. This arrangement has been faithfully transcribed from the original, though the percussion parts have been slightly augmented. The vast majority of the work is playable by intermediate-level ensembles. Ossia parts have been included for the few sections that demand more technical facility.