Symphony III (Schuller)

From Wind Repertory Project
Gunther Schuller

Gunther Schuller

Subtitle: In Praise of Winds [title varies].

General Info

Year: 1981
Duration: c. 25:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: G. Schirmer Inc.
Cost: Score and Parts - rental


1. Andante - 6:32
2. Moderato - 11:07
3. Scherzo - 4:11
4. Finale Rondo - 7:05


Full Score
C Piccolo (2)
Flute (9)
Alto Flute
Oboe (3)
English Horn
Bassoon (2)
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet (13)
E-flat Alto Clarinet (2)
B-flat Bass Clarinet (2)
E-flat Contrabass Clarinet (2)
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet (2)
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone (2)
B-flat Tenor Saxophone (2)
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet (9)
Horn in F (8)
Trombone (8)
Euphonium (2)
Tuba (5)
String Bass (2)
Timpani (2)
Percussion (4), including:

  • Antique Cymbals [Crotales]
  • Bass Drum
  • Cabasa
  • Chimes
  • Maracas
  • Marimba
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Snare Drum (2)
  • Suspended Cymbals (5)
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tambourine
  • Tenor Drum
  • Triangle (4)
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Drawing upon the influences of Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Ravel and Scriabin, Gunther Schuller's compositional style is unique amongst works for band. He takes full advantage of the variety of tone colors available in the wind ensemble, and each performer has significant responsibilities. Because this is an extended work without clear tonal anchors, mature collegiate or professional performers are required, as well as a moderately sophisticated audience.

- Program Note from Great Music for Wind Band

This mammoth, four-movement symphony for band was a commission from the School of Music and the University Bands at the University of Michigan in honor of the centennial celebration of their School of Music. The score is dedicated to Bob Reynolds, then director of bands at Michigan, and the second movement bears the inscription "To the memory of Alec Wilder."

According to Schuller, "The first movement, with its somewhat somber and portentous opening, soon develops into a bright allegro . . . The second movement is mostly slow and serene, exploiting quartal harmonies and the more pastel colors of the ensemble. A virtuoso Scherzo follows . . . Movement four is cast in Rondo form in which both the main thematic material (fanfare in character) and the interspersed 'episodes' are constantly varied, either in orchestration or in substance."

Critic David Noble produced a perceptive review of the work in its East Coast premiere: ". . . Even more his [Schuller's] own was the inexhaustible coloristic invention of the piece [a phrase frequently appropriate to the composer's music]; in some passages Schuller was inventing several new sonorities a second, all structural to the magical, haunting flow of this remarkable work. But the real spectacle was the poly-morphous eclecticism, the remarkable array of styles donned and discarded . . ."

- Notes from


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer