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Huldigungsmarsch (ed Reed)

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Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner (ed. Alfred Reed)

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The title of this work translates from the German as Homage March. It bears the designation WWV 97.

General Info

Year: 1864 / 2002
Duration: c. 6:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Wind Band
Publisher: Masters Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $55.00


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Wagner wrote his “Homage March” as a gift and greeting for the 19-year-old King Ludwig II on the occasion of his birthday on August 25th 1864. A first performance in the presence of the king did not take place, however, until October 5th in Munich, after a series of circumstances including the sudden death of the leader of the Munich Military Band, Peter Streck (1797-1864) two days before the birthday cancelled the performance. According to one obituary, Streck appears to have suffered a heart attack under pressure of the preparations for the concert, with the copying of parts immediately before the performance, the organization of rehearsals and the journey to Hohenschwangau with a total of 80 musicians, and the enormous musical demands made by Wagner.

The “Homage March” bears Wagner’s typical signature. He himself writes that he had composed something “from Lohengrin and Tannhäuser and perhaps something new”. The piece is a formal work of genius, unusually lush in sound and instrumentation, but appears on the whole a little too routine. The performance does not seem to have made a lasting impression on Ludwig II either, as no royal comments of any consequence on the work have remained on record. Despite these limitations, the “Homage March”, as an original work by Wagner for wind ensemble, cannot be disregarded in our concert programs.

- Program Note from Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music

Huldigungsmarsch (Homage March) was written for military band in 1864 in Starnberg, Germany, for the 19th birthday of King Ludwig II. The first of Wagner’s three large-scale marches, this work, with its confident melodic lines and rich counterpoint, speaks the language of the mature composer who is certain not only of his technique but of his goal. This march is the composer’s principal contribution in his small legacy of original works written for winds.

- Program Note from Appalachian State University Concert Band concert program, 20 February 2017

Huldigungsmarsch was written at a time when few composers were writing works of serious artistic merit for the wind band. It also came at the time when wind instruments were gradually being perfected. To obtain the desired forces for the premiere, three infantry regiment bands in Munich were combined.

The march deviates from the conventional march form. It opens with a slow introduction, and there is no traditional trio. It is more a symphonic work than a march, per se, and is tightly knitted through the use of a primary motive that is initially stated in the introduction.

- Program Note from Teaching Music Through Performance


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State Ratings

  • North Carolina: VI


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Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 619.
  • Tan, Leonard. "Huldigungsmarsch." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 9, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 549-557. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2013.