Trauersinfonie (ed Votta-Boyd)

From Wind Repertory Project
Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner (ed. Votta and Boyd)

This work bears the designation WWV 73. It is also known as Trauermusik.

General Info

Year: 1844 / 1924 / 1994
Duration: c. 6:20
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Ludwig Masters, through Alfred Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $55.00   |   Score Only - $10.00


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

  • Muted Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

A cursory glance at the score of Trauersinfonie (or Trauermusik) can give the impression that the work's seemingly conservative technical demands will require minimal rehearsal time. Realistically, this is a piece that is rather difficult to perform well. The tempo in the newest edition never exceeds 66 beats per minute, and the bulk of the work is slower still. High school and less experienced college players may struggle to control tone quality and intonation while effecting expansive phrases. The educational benefits of this piece are significant to younger players, and more mature performers will enjoy the opportunity to perform a piece written specifically for winds from this renowned composer.

- Notes from Great Music for Wind Band

A magnificent work, filled with noble eloquence and lyric beauty, in slow, measured tempo using themes from Weber's opera Euryanthe in tribute to that composer (the piece was composed for the torchlight ceremony at Weber's re-burial in Germany).

- Program Note from Music for Concert Band

Renowned for his timeless additions to the world of opera and orchestral repertoire, Richard Wagner composed Trauermusik to accompany Carl Maria von Weber's remains to their final resting place. Using themes of Weber, it is a significant addition to the wind repertoire, and Dr. Boyd's adaptation for modern ensembles makes it a true classic.

- Program Note from publisher

On December 14, 1844, the remains of Carl Maria von Weber were moved from London, where he had died, to Germany. Wagner composed Trauermusik for the torch light procession to Weber’s final resting place, the Catholic Cemetery in Friedrichstadt. As part of his musical remembrance, Wagner arranged several portions of Weber’s opera Euryanthe for a large wind band of 75 players including 7 oboes, 10 bassoons, 25 clarinets and 14 horns, among others. 20 drums accompanied this wind band during the funeral procession.

The first part of Trauermusik is an arrangement of music from the overture to Euryanthe, which represents the vision of Emma’s spirit in the opera. The main section of the work is taken from the cavatina “Hier dicht am Quell,” the text of which contains numerous references to death. The coda comes from a passage in Act II that recalls the opening “spirit music.” Wagner amassed all of the military bands around Dresden for the occasion, and was gratified by the effect. He remained fond of the work throughout his life and in Mein Leben he wrote, “1 had never before achieved anything that corresponded so perfectly to its purpose.”

- Program note by Michael Votta

The original published subtitle to the work, Funeral Music on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber, is misleading in that it implies that Wagner borrowed and arranged Weber’s melodies, when in fact he took both the melodic and harmonic content directly from Weber’s opera Euryanthe, which greatly influenced Wagner’s sense of musical drama (as did Weber’s Der Freischütz, the presence of which may be felt in Wagner’s early opera Der fliegende Holländer). The opening section of Trauermusik represents the spirit of the opera’s title character, and the closing section (as in the opera) reprises this music, paying homage to the vision of the departed Euryanthe. The more extended middle section of Trauermusik is taken from the cavatina Hier dicht am Quell (Near to this spring), which is filled with textual references to death. Through his treatment of these passages, Wagner created a musical eulogy while also paying tribute to a major source of his inspiration.

- Program Note from University of Michigan Symphony Band concert program, 20 October 2017


State Ratings

  • Louisiana: V
  • Michigan: Senior High AA
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: IV


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Texas Community College Band Directors Association All-State Symphonic Band (Caroline Beatty, conductor) – 11 February 2023 (2023 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.) Wind Orchestra (Luke Camarillo, conductor) - 7 November 2022
  • University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls) Wind Ensemble (Danny Galyen, conductor) - 29 September 2022
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Brett Echols, conductor) - 29 October 2021
  • Ouachita Baptist University (Arkadelphia, Ark.) Wind Ensemble (Craig V. Hamilton, conductor) – 5 November 2019
  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble (Thomas Gamboa, conductor) – 24 October 2019
  • University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) Wind Ensemble (Christopher Knighten, conductor) – 16 October 2019
  • Yale University (New Haven, Conn.) Concert Band (Thomas Duffy, conductor) – 4 October 2019
  • University of Arizona (Tucson) Wind Symphony (Chad Shoopman, conductor) – 26 September 2019
  • Temple University (Philadelphia, Penn.) Wind Symphony (Matthew Brunner, conductor) – 26 April 2019
  • State University of New York, Potsdam, Crane Wind Ensemble (Brian K. Doyle, conductor) – 27 March 2019
  • Ithaca (N.Y.) College Wind Ensemble (Joseph Missal, conductor) – 1 March 2019
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Mallory Thompson, conductor) – 9 November 2018
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Concert Band (Jason H. Nam, conductor) – 3 April 2018
  • California State University, Los Angeles Wind Ensemble (Emily Moss, conductor) – 15 March 2018
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Thomas Caneva, conductor) - 1 December 2017
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Symphony Band (Emily Threinen, conductor) – 20 October 2017
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Ensemble (Jacqueline Townsend, conductor) – 27 April 2017
  • University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) Wind Ensemble (Travis J. Cross, conductor) – 26 April 2017
  • Cuesta Wind Ensemble (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) (Jennifer Martin, conductor) – 25 March 2017 
  • University of Nebraska (Lincoln) Symphonic Band (Anthony Falcone, conductor) – 7 March 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Garofalo, Robert J. Guides to Band Masterworks. Meredith Music Publications, 1992. Reprinted as Guides to Band Masterworks. Volume I. Meredith Music Publications, 2016, pp. 23–39.
  • Garofalo, Robert J. "Richard Wagner: Trauersinfonie." BD Guide vol. 7, no. 1, September-October 1992, pp. 52–54, 57. Reprinted in Performance Study Guides of Essential Works for Band, edited by Kenneth L. Neidig. Meredith Music Publications, 2009. pp. 58–61.
  • Johnson, L. Keating. "Richard Wagner's Trauersinfonie." Journal of Band Research vol. 16, no. 2, Spring 1981, pp. 38–42. Reprinted in The American Bandmasters Association Journal of Band Research: A Repertoire Anthology (1964–1989), general editor Terry Austin. GIA Publications, 2013. pp. 145–148.
  • Kinder, Keith. "New Light on Wagner's Trauermusik [Trauersinfonie]." In: Kongressbericht Oberwölz/Steiermark 2004. Alta Musica, band 25. Edited by Bernhard Habla. Hans Schneider, 2006, pp. 205-217.
  • Krienes, J.; Hansbrough, R. Music for Concert Band: A Selective Annotated Guide to Band Literature. Meredith Music Publications, 2014, pp. 83-84.
  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 1. GIA Publications, 2010, pp. 754-760.
  • Nicholson, Chad. Great Music for Wind Band: A Guide to the Top 100 Works in Grades IV, V, VI. Meredith Music Publications, 2009, pp 114-115.
  • Votta, Michael. "Richard Wagner's Trauermusik, WWV 73 [Trauersinfonie]." In: The Wind Ensemble and its Repertoire: Essays on the 40th Anniversary of the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Edited by Frank J. Cipolla & Donald R. Hunsberger. University of Rochester Press, 1994, pp. 168-186.
  • Wagner, R.; Votta, M.; Boyd, J.; Weber, C. Trauermusik (WWV 73): (Trauersinfonie) for Wind Orchestra [score]. Ludwig Music, 1994.
  • Whitwell, David. "Making Band Masterpieces Musical: Richard Wagner, Trauermusik." In Essays on Performance Practice, by David Whitwell. Whitwell Publishing, 2013, pp. 79–83.