Ether Game

History Schmistory

Ether Game asks: can you name this tune? It’s one of the first big orchestral showstoppers.

The piece was composed to commemorate victory by a great British military leader over the forces of Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon’s older brother. It was originally written in collaboration with an inventor to showcase his newest invention, a robot that was able to play the instruments of a military band. This composer then took the piece one step further and arranged it for a full orchestra with two on-stage wind bands playing tunes to represent the two battling armies. A huge battery of percussion instruments is also used to create battle sounds. The fully-orchestrated work was a huge crowd-pleaser at is premiere in 1813, but has since become only more than a “novelty” piece.

Music Heard On This Episode

Copland, Aaron (1900-1990): Excerpt from "Lincoln Portrait"
The United States Coast Guard Band/Lewis J. Buckley, cond. — Americana (CreateSpace, 2008)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Copland, Aaron (1900-1990): Excerpt from "Lincoln Portrait"
The United States Coast Guard Band/Lewis J. Buckley, cond. — Americana (CreateSpace, 2008)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Offenbach, Jacques (1819-1880): Le Belle Hélène: Overture
Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Paul Paray, cond. — Marches and Overtures (Philips, 1993)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus (1756-1791): The Clemency of Titus
English Baroque Soloists/John Eliot Gardiner, cond. — Gardiner-Mozart Opera Highlights (Archiv, 1996)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Vaughan Williams, Ralph (1906-1975): Symphony No. 7: Scherzo
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra/Leppard, Raymond, cond. — Vaughan Williams: Sinfonia Antartica & Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis; Symphony No7 (Koss, 2006)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Bellini, Vincenzo (1801-1835): The Puritans: Sinfonia
Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scalla/Tullio Serafin, cond. — Opera Rhapsody (Angel Records, 1998)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Korngold, Erich Wolfgang (1897-1957): The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex: Excerpts
London Symphony Orchestra/Andre Previn — Korngold: The Sea Hawk (Deutsche Grammophon, 2002)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Berlioz, Hector (1803-1869): The Death of Cleopatra: Excerpts
Wiener Philharmoniker/Valery Gergiev, cond. — Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique; La Mort de Cléopâtre (Philips Import, 2003)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Handel, George Frideric (1685-1759): The Ways of Zion Do Mourn: Their Bodies are Burned in Peace
The Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra/John Eliot Gardiner, cond. — George Frideric Handel: Israel In Egypt/The Ways Of Zion Do Mourn (Erato, 1992)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Shostakovich, Dmitri (1906-1975): Trio No. 2 in E minor: Largo
Martha Argerich/Gidon Kremer/Mischa Maisky — Shostakovich/Tchaikovsky: Piano Trios (Deutsche Grammophon, 1999)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Saint-Saëns, Camille (1835-1921): Ballet Music from Henry VIII: Gigue and Finale
Razumovsky Sinfonia/Andrew Moreglia, cond. — Delibes: Sylvia (complete)/ Saint-Saens: Henry VIII (Naxos, 1996)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Beethoven, Ludwig van (1770-1827): Wellington's Victory: Symphony of Triumph
London Symphony Orchestra/Antal Dorati, cond. — Tchaikovsky: 1812 Festival Overture; Capriccio Italien; Beethoven: Wellington's Victory (Philips, 1995)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Whitacre, Eric (b. 1970): Leonardo Dreams of his Flying Machine
Coro/Mark Griffiths, cond. — Coro: The Lover's Ghost (Dal Segno, 2006)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover
Billy Joel: We Didn't Start the Fire
Billy Joel — Billy Joel - Greatest Hits Vol. 3 (Sony, 1997)
Buy from Amazon »
album cover

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Ether Game:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Ether Game

Search Ether Game

Ether Game is on Twitter