GOD SAVE THE KING is taken from the Variations for Piano, WoO 78, by Ludwig van Beethoven, (1770-1827). This is a theme and seven variations. "God Save the King" was a patriotic piece probably written around 1745. It is the national anthem of Great Britian. The words and tune are anonymous, and may date back to the seventeenth century.
These variations by Beethoven were written in 1803. Beethoven was said to be an admirer of England and he also produced a set of piano variations on Rule Britannia, WoO 79.
As a band conductor, you seldom find material from the classical period which is appropriate for your wind ensembles. These variations on God Save the King meets the need for additional literature from this time span.
This arrangement for concert band closely follows the original Beethoven variations. Scoring closely follows the available instrumentation of 1803. By dropping the saxophones and xylophone, this piece can be performed with the standard instrumentation that would have been available to Beethoven. This selection could also be performed with a chamber ensemble of one person per part. The original parts and voicing are faithfully followed but there are minor additions to fill out the musical result.
The short version without repeats is performed on this recording.
This selection is on the Virginia contest listing.
Performance time is 5'34" though the longer version with repeats is 8'37".