Carnival of Venice
Jean Baptist Arban
Through the last two-thirds of the nineteenth century, the tune "Carnival of Venice" was the basis of innumerable instrumental showpieces, usually in variation form. It's a fine bravura work that doesn't immediately reveal its flashy intentions.
It begins with the orchestra playing a fragment of the tune; the tuba enters very soon, already offering a lyrical variation on the melody even though it hasn't been presented in full. In the first of its periodic "break strains," the orchestra plays a lilting variant of its own, whereupon the tuba returns with the complete tune in waltz form, followed by a highly ornate little variation. The ensuing variations grow increasingly intricate.