Dirigent . Musik-Arrangeur . Komponist - Conductor . Music-Arranger . Composer

Report on the - then last -

EDELWEISS-Galakonzert of the Military Music Band TYROLin the year 2015

by Professor HR Dr. Friedrich WEYERMÜLLER,

 Honorary President of the International Music Federation CISM

Grand Gala Concert of the Military Music Band TYROL


The Military Music Band TYROL excelled at the concert under the sovereign conduction of Military Music Band Conductor Lieutenant Colonel Hannes APFOLTERER with a carefully selected musical program. The range of music selected for the performance included the finest „traditional wind music“ such as Jindrich PRAVECEKS (1909-2000) overture „Heimatland“ („Homeland“) or the rousing march compositions „Unsere Alpenjäger“ („Our Alpine Hunters“) by Georg KALTSCHMID (1885-1954) and „Unter der Admiralsflagge“ („Under the admiral flag“) by Julius Fucik (1872-1916).


From the rich palette of well-sounding, melody-dominated works from classical wind music literature that are always welcome were performed the compositions „Erinnerung an ein Ballerlebnis“ („Memory of a ball event“), a dancing sketch by Hans BUND (1898-1982) or „Der Teufelstanz“ („The Devil’s Dance“) by Joseph HELLMESBERGER jun. (1855-1907) in remarkably virtuosity with regard to the technic and the enormous pace.


Military Music Band Conductor Apfolterer worked out in a noteworthy way the wonderful richness of the tone-colors of the compositions with great transparency, absolutely correct in the sound of the different musical eras, carefully and effective and used the possibilities of a well-staffed symphonic wind orchestra in this way.


The overture, full of elan, to „Candide“ by Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990) as well as the catchy tunes „Copacabana“ by Barry MANILOW and „Music“ by John MILES jointed to the classical repertoire. It became clear that both the conductor and his musicians have no problems with different musical worlds, with almost unbelievable freshness and concise rhythm. The audience reacted with true enthusiasm storms.


With relevant information about the compositions, essential music-historical data, occasionally supplemented with capricious anecdotes, Constanze KÖBERL-SCOZZAFAVA skillfully led through the evening.


In the attentive audience were among others the Abbot of the Monastery Stams, German ERD, the Mayoress of the state capital Innsbruck, Christine OPPITZ-PLÖRER and Former Governor of the State of Tyrol, Alois PARTL with his wife. Everyone in the audience clearly sensed the explosive nature of the situation of the Military Music Band TYROL and indeed of all the Austrian Military Music Bands with the exception of Vienna.


Was it clever coordination or coincidence in the first part of the concert that Military Music Band Conductor Lieutenant Colonel APFOLTERER under the premonition of the decided deciation of the Military Music Bands to 20 Musicians interpreted his recently released composition „Grief-Consolation-Hope“, finally he intoned the famous march „Zum Städtel hinaus“ by Georg MEISSNER, and in the end – after the Military Tattoo – he said goodbye to the audience saluting in full adjustment?


Involuntarily, the situation reminded us of Gustav MAHLER’S farewell to Vienna in December of the year 1907, from which we know…as the train started to move, Gustav KLIMT said what many thought „over“:

Even the most frugal music lover can not understand that this concert should have been the last one of the Military Music Band TYROL in the cast with 47 musicians. With all sense for saving is to inquire: „Were all possibilities in this political decision really seriously examined?“ Even in our time, the dealing with the topic of culture is still much too carefree.

„The Economy“ - in consciousness of what is once lost is lost - would defend itself power-fully and take countermeasures.


The most peaceable and popular military unit, those who give the military a positive image, are simply sacrified. It is quite clear that with 20 musicians it is only partially possible to meet the legitimate demands of the audience. The financially planned savings are out of all proportion to the cultural damage. Austria, the country of music since time immemorial, with the designated small groups of 20 musicians each will join itself in the list of the poorest developing countries.


The political approval of this „prank“ will have to be explained to the voters at state and federal level at the very few reasonable auditinig of previous appreciation and promises about the importance and indispensability of Wind Music.


Did in the state of Tyrol Lieutenant Colonel Hannes APFOLTERER, more than 20 years serving Military Music Band Conductor, more than 30 years dedicated Bandleader of the BIG BAND and the COMBO, also more than 20 years highly successful conductor of the Original Tiroler Kaiserjägermusik, deserve such a „treatment“? Is this the appreciation of Tyrol and Austria?


Military Music, its tradition and its centuries-long positive impact - just think for example only to the composers Strauss, Lehar, Ziehrer and their music, which conquered the world - are among the Austrian cultural assets as well as our civil- and youth music bands.


It is still time to fight back and seek solutions, even when it comes to austerity proposals, which give the „top military floor“ in direct concern little pleasure that would be efficient and understandable in enforcement.

© Hannes Apfolterer

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