Candide Suite

From Wind Repertory Project
Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein (trans. and adapt. Clare Grundman)

General Info

Year: 1956 / 1993
Duration: c. 12:10
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Jalni, through Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts - $90.00   |   Score Only - $14.95


1. The Best of All Possible Worlds - 1:45
2. Westphalia Chorale and Battle Scene - 1:40
3. Auto-da-fé - 1:46
4. Glitter and Be Gay - 2:45
5. Make Our Garden Grow - 3:15


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra-Alto Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Hi-Hat
  • Snare Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Tenor Drum
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


In Parts:

  • Contra-alto Clarinet, mvt. 1, m.117-118: Should double the tubas.
  • Cymbals, mvt. 5, m.50: Crash should happen on the downbeat of measure 51.
  • Percussion, mvt. 3, m.20: indicate that the center line continues the triangle part.
  • Percussion, mvt. 3, m.32: indicate that the center line should be played on crash cymbals.

Program Notes

Candide was Leonard Bernstein’s third Broadway musical, following On the Town and Wonderful Town. Adapted by Lillian Hellman from Voltaire’s 18th-century satire on blind optimism, Bernstein’s Candide is an operetta set in the castle of the Baron Thunder-ten-Tronckh in the mythical European land of Westphalia. Within these walls live the Baron and Baroness; Cunégonde, their beautiful and innocent virgin daughter; Maximilian, their handsome son; Candide, their handsome bastard nephew; and Paquette, the Baroness’ buxom serving maid. They are taught by Dr. Pangloss, who preaches the philosophy that all is for the best in “The Best of All Possible Worlds.”

Candide and Cunégonde kiss, and Candide is banned from Westphalia. As he leaves, Bulgarians invade, kidnap him and slaughter everyone except for Cunégonde, who they prostitute out to a rich Jew and the Grand Inquisitor. Candide escapes and begins an optimistic, satirical journey, taking with him his sweetheart Cunégonde and Pangloss. Candide journeys to Lisbon, Paris, Buenos Aires, and even the legendary El Dorado, only to discover reality in the forms of crime, atrocity, and suffering. He returns to Venice with Cunégonde, stripped of his idealism. His ultimate emotional maturation concludes in the finale with “You’ve been a fool, and so have I, But come and be my wife, And let us try before we die, To make good sense of life. We’re neither pure nor wise nor good; We’ll do the best we know; We’ll build our house, and chop our wood, And make our garden grow.”

Opening on Broadway on December 1, 1956, Candide was perhaps a bit too intellectually weighty for its first audiences and closed after just 73 performances. Bernstein was less concerned over the money lost than the failure of a work he cared about deeply. The critics had rightly noted a marvelous score, and Bernstein and others kept tinkering with the show over the years. With each revival, Candide won bigger audiences. In 1989, the already seriously ill Bernstein spent his last ounces of vital energy recording a new concert version of the work. “There’s more of me in that piece than anything else I’ve done,” he said.

- Program note by San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra concert program, 12 May 2012

This suite, arranged by Clare Grundman, is made up of five numbers from the musical Candide. In the first movement, The Best of All Possible Worlds, Doctor Pangloss, Voltaire's satirical portrait of the philosopher Gottfried von Leibnitz, tutors his Westphalian pupils. In the second movement. Westphalia Chorale and Battle Scene, the devout Westphalians sing a chorale praising the integrity of their homeland, after which they are massacred by the invading Bulgarian army. In movement three, Auto-de-fe, Candide and Dr. Pangloss find themselves in Lisbon, where, being free-thinkers, they are prosecuted as heretics by the Spanish Inquisition; however, Candide and Dr. Pangloss escape.

The fourth movement, Glitter and Be Gay, depicts Cunegonde, Candide's true love, singing of her attempts to maintain a brilliant, carefree exterior, while she may (or may not) be tortured inwardly by self-doubt. The final movement, Make Our Garden Grow, has Candide realizing that the only purpose of living is to cultivate the earth and to create a garden.

- Program Note from the University of Texas Symphony Band concert program, 30 November 2016 


State Ratings

  • Florida: VI
  • Texas: III, IV, and V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Pinnacle Winds (Kansas City, Mo.) (Leslie Hicken, conductor) – 18 February 2024
  • University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) Wind Ensemble (Travis J. Cross, conductor) – 7 February 2024
  • University of Texas at Arlington Symphonic Band and Winds (Christopher Evans, conductor) - 19 November 2023
  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Jason K. Fettig, conductor) - 7 June 2023
  • Metropolitan Winds of Toronto (Ont., Can.) (Kevin Vuong, conductor) - 27 May 2023
  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Hindsley Symphonic Band (Kimberly Fleming, conductor) - 1 March 2023
  • Belmont University (Nashville, Tenn.) Wind Ensemble (George Shannon II, conductor) - 17 February 2023
  • Big Bend All District (Tallahassee, Fla.) Honor Band (Keith Griffis, conductor) - 28 January 2023
  • Clovis (Calif.) North Educational Center Wind Ensemble (David Lesser, conductor) – 22 April 2022 (2022 San Joaquin Valley (Calif.) Concert Band Invitational)
  • Leon High School (Tallahassee, Fla.) Symphonic Band (Lee Commander, conductor) - 29 February 2022
  • Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Wind Symphony (Rubén Darío Gómez, conductor) - 8 December 2021
  • West Virginia University (Morgantown) Symphonic Band (Cheldon Williams, conductor) - 8 April 2021
  • Texas A&M University (College Station) Wind Symphony (Timothy Rhea, conductor) - 14 March 2021
  • Wando High School (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) Band (Bobby Lambert, conductor; Alice Keene, harp) - 19 December 2019 (2019 Midwest Clinic)
  • The College of New Jersey (Ewing) Concert Band (Eric Laprade, conductor) – 18 October 2019
  • University of South Florida (Tampa) Symphonic Band (John Carmichael, conductor) – 8 October 2019
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington) Wind Symphony (John Cody Birdwell, conductor) – 15 September 2019
  • Carthage College (Kenosha, Wisc.) Wind Orchestra (James Ripley, conductor) – 17 May 2019
  • Lone Star Youth Winds (Dallas, Tx.) (Amanda Drinkwater, conductor) – 12 May 2019
  • Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA) Symphonic Band (Joshua W. Neuenschwander, conductor) - 11 May 2019
  • Virginia Tech (Blacksburg) Symphony Band (Polly Middleton, conductor) – 5 May 2019
  • Sacramento (Calif.) State University Concert Band (Arianna Guntvedt, conductor) – 1 May 2019
  • Durham (N.C.) Community Concert Band (Tom Shaffer, conductor) – 14 April 2019
  • Strasbourg Conservatory of Music (Strasbourg, France) (Miguel Etchegoncelay, conductor) - 15 March 2009

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Cool (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Murtha) (1957/2018)
  • West Side Story (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Sweeney) (1957/2015)

All Wind Works


  • Bernstein, L., Grundman, C. (1993). Candide Suite [score]. Boosey & Hawkes: [New York].
  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. 2002. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 4. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 281-292.