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Variations on the Porazzi Theme of Wagner

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Alfred Reed

Alfred Reed

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This work is the second movement of the composer's Symphony No. 3

General Info

Year: 1882 / 1988
Duration: c. 7:25
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts - $195.00   |   Score Only - $30.00 (for the full symphony)


Full Score
C Piccolo/Flute III
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass 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-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

American composer and conductor Alfred Reed composed over 250 works for band, orchestra and chorus. Reed wrote numerous works based on original melodies but many of his most outstanding and popular pieces are masterful arrangements and orchestrations of borrowed tunes. This movement is the second of his Symphony No. 3.

The Porazzi theme was one of the last melodic fragments that Richard Wagner composed and was given as a gift to his wife Cosima. At the time, Wagner was staying in Palermo, Italy, in the palace of Prince Gangi - Piazza dei Porazzi. A sketch of the opening eight measures of the theme can be found in the sketchbook for his opera Tristan and Isolde; however it was not until 1882 that Cosima recalls Richard Wagner playing the entire melody at the piano, stating that he had “at last found the proper shape.” The violet ink that was used to compose the entire theme is identical to the ink Wagner was using for the score of Parsifal.

Cosima Wagner eventually gave the sketchbook, which contains the Porazzi theme, to Arturo Toscanini. Upon Toscanini’s death the sketchbook was returned to Wagner’s beloved Bayreuth. Alfred Reed sets the Porazzi theme in the original Wagner key and creates a distinctive set of variations.

- Program Note by University of Texas Wind Symphony concert program, 31 March 2011


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Bowling Green (Ohio) State University Wind Symphony (Bruce Moss, conductor) - 24 February 2023
  • New York University Wind Symphony (Jason Noble, conductor) - 10 December 2022
  • Texas Christian University (Fort Worth) Wind Symphony (Bobby Francis, conductor) - 17 November 2022
  • University of Miami (Fla.) Frost Wind Ensemble (Robert Carnachan, conductor) - 21 February 2021
  • Arkansas Tech University (Russellville) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Daniel A. Belongia, conductor) – 29 September 2019
  • University of Colorado Boulder Wind Symphony (Matthew Dockendorf, conductor) – 22 February 2019
  • University of Texas (Austin) Wind Symphony (Matthew Sedatole, conductor) – 20 February 2019
  • University of Oklahoma (Norman) Symphony Band (Brian Britt, conductor) – 23 April 2018
  • Sherwood (Ore.) High School Wind Ensemble (Brant Stai, conductor) – 9 March 2018
  • Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (John E. Williamson, conductor) – 27 February 2018
  • Texas All-State Concert Band (Gary Green, conductor) - 17 February 2018 (2018 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.) Wind Symphony (Stephen Bolstad, conductor) – 4 October 2017
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Symphonic Band (Shawn Vondran, conductor) – 29 April 2017
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (Stephen W. Pratt, conductor) – 28 March 2017
  • Shenandoah Conservatory (Winchester, Va.) Wind Ensemble (Timothy Robblee, conductor) - 4 March 2017
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City, Wind Symphony (Steven D. Davis, conductor) – 1 December 2016
  • Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo.) Wind Symphony II (Curran Prendergast, conductor) – 17 November 2016
  • University of Michigan Concert Band (Courtney Snyder, conductor) – 7 October 2015
  • University of Texas Symphony Band (Jerry Junkin, conductor) - 22 February 2015
  • Royal Wind Orchestra of Horst (The Netherlands) (Steven Walker, conductor) - 20 November 2011

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Reed, A. (1988). Symphony No 3 [score]. Composers' Editions: New Berlin, Wisc.