From Wind Repertory Project
Edgard Varèse

Edgard Varèse

Subtitle: For 15 instruments, percussion and tape

General Info

Year: 1953 / 1959 / 2000
Duration: c. 23:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Ricordi
Cost: Score and Parts - Rental


Full Score
C Piccolo
B-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drums (2: medium and low)
  • Chimes
  • Chinese Blocks (3)
  • Claves
  • Cowbell
  • Crash Cymbals (2)
  • Field Drum
  • Gongs (3: high, medium and low)
  • Guiro
  • Lathes (2)
  • Maracas (2)
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Side Drum
  • Slapstick
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbals (2: high and low)
  • Tambourine
  • Temple Blocks (3)
  • Thunder Sheet
  • Timbales (2)
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone

With optional interpolations of "2 magnetic tapes of electronically organized sounds transmitted on 2 channels by means of a stereophonic system."


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Déserts (1950-1954) is scored for an ensemble of 14 wind instruments, piano and five percussionists, plus two-track tape. The work's four instrumental sections can be played alone or … juxtaposed with three electronic interludes.

Characterized by its focus on sustained chords or single pitches in its attempt to penetrate the inner essence of sound, the first performances of Déserts took place in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées on 2nd December 1954 conducted by Hermann Scherchen. Its stormy reception recalled that of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in the same theater some 40 years earlier.

- Program Note by Peter Quinn in liner notes for Naxos 2000 CD Edgard Varése

Commercial Discography


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Déserts, Wikipedia. Accessed 27 January 2021
  • Girsberger, Russ. Percussion Assignments for Band & Wind Ensemble: Volume 2 L-Z. Galesville, MD: Meredith Music Publications, 2004, 317. Print.
  • Perusal score
  • Varése, E. (2000). Déserts : for 15 instruments, percussion and tape [score]. Ricordi: Milano, Italy.