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Vocalise, Opus 34, No. 14 (arr. Hunsburger)

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Sergei Rachmaninoff

Sergei Rachmaninoff (arr. Donald Hunsberger)

General Info

Year: 1909 / 2004
Duration: c. 5:00
Difficulty: III-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: High voice and piano
Publisher: Alfred Music Publishing
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $60.00   |   Score Only (print) - $25.00


Full Score
Flute I-II-III (III doubling C Piccolo)
Alto Flute
Oboe I-II
English Horn
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 Trumpet I-II-III-IV (I & II optional B-flat Piccolo Trumpet)
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-tam
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This scoring of Vocalise is dedicated to Frederick Fennell [FF] in celebration of his 90th birthday July 2, 2004. First of all, reaching this milestone (and still being active in the music world) is an outstanding accomplishment unequaled by most musicians. Second, this year marks the 55th year of our association, for he and I were both in the 1949 Pennsylvania All-State Band, meeting in Hazleton, though our respective positions were of a slightly different level. The following September, I entered the Eastman School of Music to study trombone with Emory Remington, and FF and I met once again -- this time in the Eastman Symphony Band and in the Junior Symphony, both of which he conducted.

Over the succeeding years, we were together in the first Eastman Wind Ensemble in 1952 and recorded those initial single-track recordings for Mercury Records. Later, I served as his teaching assistant while working on an MM degree in 1958-59 and on a DMA in 1962-63. Although I moved to Potsdam, New York, in the interim to teach at the state university there, we were never far apart. I returned to Eastman in 1961-62 to substitute for him during his absence as associate conductor on the 13-week U.S. State Department tour of Europe and Russia undertaken by Howard Hanson with the Eastman Philharmonia. At the end of the adventure, he joined the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra as associate conductor. This closed an era of activity at Eastman that had begun with his own entrance to the school as a freshman in 1933.

FF's dedication and work on behalf of the contemporary wind band is now common knowledge, though most people are totally unaware of how difficult those early years of the "symphonic wind ensemble" (Mercury Record's early terminology) really were. But what he accomplished in those first short ten years of his tenure -- as founder and conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble -- is a tribute to his foresight and desire for future musical options for all. On his birthday, a copy of this score was delivered to him along with a private recording of this setting of Vocalise by the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, his "other" major ensemble.

- Program Note by arranger

Vocalise is a song by Sergei Rachmaninoff, composed and published in 1915 as the last of his 14 Songs or 14 Romances, Op. 34. Written for high voice (soprano or tenor) with piano accompaniment, it contains no words, but is sung using only one vowel of the singer's choosing. It was dedicated to soprano singer Antonina Nezhdanova.


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (Stephen W. Pratt, conductor) – 28 September 2016
  • Category 5 Wind Ensemble, Inc. (Dan Sitomer, conductor) – 14 March 2015

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Rachmaninoff, S.; Hunsberger, D. (2004). Vocalise, Opus 34, no. 14, for Wind Ensemble [score]. Warner Bros. Publications: Miami, Fla.
  • Vocalise (Rachmaninoff), Wikipedia. Accessed 25 March 2021