The composer known conventionally as Franz von Suppe (1819-1895) was born to an Italian-Belgian father and a Viennese mother in Croatia, which was then part of the Kingdom of Dalmatia in the Austro-Hungarian empire. His full name befits his convoluted nationality: his parents named him Francesco Ezechiele Ermenegildo Cavaliere Suppé Demelli. His early musical training was in flute and singing. His parents pushed him to study law, but he continued his musical studies nonetheless. He eventually moved to Vienna to complete his studies and find work conducting in opera houses. He went on to compose over 100 works for the stage.
The Poet and the Peasant (Dichter und Bauer in the original German) is one of von Suppe’s earlier operettas, written in 1846 when he was 27 years old. Like most of his work, the operetta itself is rarely performed. But the overture has become a classic at pops concerts for both bands and orchestras.
Here’s the overture played by a very capable concert band:
and now the original orchestral version: