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Rakoczy March

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Hector Berlioz

Hector Berlioz (arr. Smith)

This work bears the other titles Damnation of Faust, Marche Hongroise, and Hungarian March.

General Info

Year: 1846 / 1957 / 1961
Duration: c. 4:15
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Bandland
Cost: Score and Parts: Out of print.

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


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

  • Bass Drum
  • Snare Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Hand Cymbals
  • Triangle


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The melodies in this work reportedly date from the time of Ferencz Rákóczy (1676-1735), a Hungarian national hero from whom this march takes one of its names. The march was popularized by Rákóczy's army and sung by the Hungarians since the 18th century. The first known printing of the original march was made in Vienna in 1820 in a collection for the piano entitle Auswahl der Beliebtesten Märsche für das K.K. 32te Linien Infanterie Regiment Fürst Esterhazy. The cover states that the collection was "composed" by Nicholas Scholl, head of the Music Chapel of Prince Esterhazy. Other sources credit Janos Bihari, a Hungarian Gypsy violinist, or Karl Vaczek, but the eminent Czech musicologist Miroslav Bláha believes the march was written by Ignatius or Joseph Ruzicka.

The work underwent several changes through the years, and Berlioz's arrangement of the shorter version was published by Treichlinger in Pest (later Budapest) in 1846. The composer decided to use the march while he was in Hungary making arrangements for a performance of The Damnation of Faust (Which he described as a "dramatic legend" rather than an opera or an oratorio). He appreciated the patriotism of the Hungarians and changed his libretto to suit the situation, taking the "much traveled" Faust to Hungary so that he might see the troops depart for the war - thus creating an opportunity for the playing of this march. The success of the plan was so overwhelming during the 1846 concert tour that Berlioz later wrote, "The hall was shaken by the wildest cries and stampings. I felt my hair standing on end."

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Berlioz, H.; Smith, L. (1957). Marche Hongroise (Rakoczy) from Damnation of Faust [score]. Belwin: Detroit.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 61-62.