Wind in the Willows

From Wind Repertory Project
Johan de Meij

Johan de Meij

General Info

Year: 2002
Duration: 17:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Amstel Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - €305.00   |   Score Only (print) - €14.00


1. The River
2. Ratty and Mole
3. Mister Toad
4. The Return of Ulysses


Full Score
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
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Finger Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Taxi Horn
  • Temple Block
  • Tam-tam
  • Tom-tom
  • Triangle (2: small and large)
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Water Tam-tam
  • Whip
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

"A book for those who keep the spirit of youth alive in them; of life, sunshine, running water, woodlands, dusty roads, winter firesides” said author Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932) about his children’s book The Wind in the Willows. Initially, he wrote the stories about Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad to read to his visually handicapped son Alistair, but after the publication in book form in 1908, it became a worldwide success. It was later also turned into a film and a television series. What appeals to me most is the friendly, very cosy atmosphere that Grahame has managed to create with his optimistic narrative style full of high spirits, an atmosphere that reminds me of my own carefree youth. It was therefore a great pleasure to set this book to music!

The four movements successively describe:

I. The River

The river, which flows through the habitat of the animals like a lifeline, regularly is the scene of pleasant boat trips and picnics. The animals lead their untroubled lives here. The four-tone main motif [A-C-D-C] is extensively presented by the brass section, and returns in the following movements as a countermelody.

II. Ratty and Mole

The bright, energetic Rat and the melancholy doubter Mole are inseparable friends and have many adventures. Their opposite characters are illustrated by separate musical themes.

III. Mister Toad

The wilful, haughty Mister Toad is indeed a unique case: time after time, he runs into tricky situations, and with his indomitable passion for fast – preferably stolen – cars he causes quite a lot of damage...

IV. The Return of Ulysses

After Toad Hall, the majestic residence of Mister Toad, is recovered from the weasels and stoats of the Wild Wood, who had captured the estate in a cowardly way, our friends get ready for a banquet. They celebrate the victory with a triumphant parade, and so both the book and the music conclude with a happy ending.


State Ratings

  • Minnesota - Category I


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Purdue University (Lafayette, Ind.) Concert Band (Matthew R. Conaway, conductor) - 10 December v2023
  • Winnipeg (Man., Can.) Wind Ensemble (Virginia Helmer, conductor) - 12 February 2023
  • University of Washington (Seattle) Symphonic Band (Shaun Day, conductor) - 8 December 2022
  • Heart of Texas Concert Band (San Antonio) (Johan de Meij, conductor) - 31 January 2021
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Concert Band (Ray Stewart, conductor) – 21 November 2019
  • Bob Jones University (Greenville, S.C.) Symphonic Wind Band (Dan Turner, conductor; Bill Pinkston, narrator) – 14 April 2018

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • De Meij, J. (2002). The Wind in the Willows: For Wind Orchestra [score]. Amstel Music: Amsterdam.
  • Johan de Meij website