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The "Light Cavalry Overture" and the "Jolly Robbers" overture are two
well known pieces.
(conributed by Davis Beall <email@example.com>)
Francesco Ezechiele Ermenegildo Cavaliere Suppé Demelli, better know as Franz von Suppé, was born in the Dalmatian port city of Spalato (now, Split, Croatia). Suppé‘s father, an Austrian civil servant working in Dalmatia, opposed the idea of his son pursuing a musical career. Nevertheless, at the age of 13, Suppé composed a full-scale Catholic Mass entitled Missa dalmatia. The young Suppé studied law at the University of Padua, but continued to secretly pursue his musical interests.
After his father’s death in 1835, Suppé and his mother moved to Vienna. There, he studied music with Ignaz von Seyfried and Simon Sechter. The former helped Suppé in 1840 to gain his first, albeit unpaid, important musical position as third Kappellmeister at the theater in der Josefstadt in Vienna. In 1841, Suppé scored his first great success at the Josefstadt Theater with his incidental music to a play entitled Jung lustig, im Alter traurig, oder Die Folgen der Erziehung. The favorable reception accorded this work led to several compositions for the theater in der Josefstadt, including the incidental music to the play Ein Morgen, ein Mittag und ein Abend in Wien (Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna), which premiered on 26 February 1844.
In 1845, Suppé became Kappellmeister at the famous Theater an der Wien and served in that capacity for 17 years, achieving renown both as a composer and conductor. He later served in a similar capacities for the Kaitheater (1862-65) and Carltheater (1865-1882). Suppé was also an accomplished operatic basso and appeared in several regional productions. Suppé‘s prolific musical output included songs, operettas, full-scale operas, liturgical works, chamber music and symphonies. Suppé‘s Das Pensionat (1860) is considered the first successful Viennese operetta, but the composer was proudest of his Boccaccio, a work he called "the greatest success of my life". Suppé was at work at yet another operetta, Das Modell, at the time of his death in 1895 at the age of 76.
Today, Suppé is remembered for a handful of overtures, including that for Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna. Their melodic invention, colorful orchestration and irrepressible energy and charm have assured Suppé‘s overtures an occasional appearance in concert programs, even if sadly, his other works have lapsed into obscurity.