program notes by composition > P > Pas Redoublé

Pas Redoublé

Camille Saint-Saëns, Op. 86, transcribed for concert band by Arthur Frackenpohl

This quickstep concert march (op. 86) is reminiscent of the galops by Offenbach and other 19th century composers. Originally written for four-hand piano in 1887 and published in 1890, this transcription was made by Arthur Frackenpohl in 1972 and dedicated to Harry Phillips and the Crane Wind Ensemble at the State University at Potsdam, New York, where Frackenpohl became a member of the music faculty in 1949.

The tempo of a pas redoublé varies with the proficiency of the performer(s) as well as the wishes of the composer and the customs of that period. Saint-Saëns defended technical virtuosity because it was for him, at least partially, a gift. During the mid-19th century military units in some nations were marching to a cadence of about 90 steps per minute for the slow march (pas ordinaire), 120 for the quick march (pas redoublé) and 160 to 180 for the double-quick march pas de charge. Frackenpohl recommends a tempo of 144 for this march.

Last updated on June 22, 2023 by Palatine Concert Band