Babi Yar, from Suite from 'Holocaust'

From Wind Repertory Project
Morton Gould

Morton Gould

General Info

Year: 1980
Duration: c. 24:50
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: G. Schirmer
Cost: Score and Parts - Out of print

Movements - Each movement may be sold and played separately

1. Main Theme - 3:13
2. Crystal Night - 5:35
3. Berta and Joseph’s Theme - 3:00
4. Babi Yar - 3:55
5. Liberation - 2:35
6. Elegy - 3:00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn (optional)
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra Alto Clarinet (optional)
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet (optional)
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum (optional)
  • Chimes
  • Marimba
  • Tam-Tam, large


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Holocaust Suite was derived from Gould’s music for the television mini-series Holocaust, and was rescored for band in 1980. Broadcast in 1978, the mini-series tells the story of the Holocaust from the perspective of the fictional Weiss family of German Jews and that of a rising member of the SS. The series tells the characters’ stories in the context of several fateful events up to and during World War II, such as Kristallnacht, the creation of Jewish ghettos, and the establishment and eventual liberation of Nazi concentration camps. The series enjoyed wide critical acclaim and several awards.

The band version of the Holocaust Suite received its world premiere at the 1980 ABA-JBA joint conference in Tempe, Arizona. Mr. Gould conducted the premiere with the Arizona State University Symphonic Band, Dr. Richard Strange, ABA Past-President (1985), conductor.

- Program note by Florida State University Wind Symphony

The title refers to the campaign waged by the Nazis in their attempt to annihilate all Jews before and during World War II. Over six million Jews, including 1.5 million children, were put to death in what has since been described as one of the most cataclysmic events ever to befall the human race.

The six movements of the Holocaust Suite are Main Theme; Kristallnacht (the night when organized bands of Nazis rampaged through the streets breaking windows of Jewish stores and homes as prelude to looting and pillaging; Berta and Joseph (refers to Berta Weiss, an accomplished pianist, playing a piece which expresses the love she had for her husband, Joseph); In Memoriam Babi Yar (a reference to the more than 100,000 victims executed in the Ukranian city of Babij Jar); Liberation (a scene where Rudi, who has been freed, joins some young people playing soccer); and Elegy (an addition to the original score portraying Gould’s own perception of the Holocaust).

- Notes from Program Notes for Band


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Texas A&M University (College Station) Wind Symphony (Timothy Rhea, conductor) - 5 December 2021
  • Florida State University Wind Orchestra (Stephen Peterson, conductor) - 7 March 2013 (79th Annual ABA Convention, Tampa)

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Gould, M. (1978, 1980). Suite from “Holocaust” : Berta and Joseph for Band [score]. G. Schirmer: New York.
  • Gould, M. (1978, 1980). Suite from “Holocaust” : Elegy (Epilogue) for Band [score]. G. Schirmer: New York.
  • Gould, M. (1978, 1980). Suite from “Holocaust” : Babi Yar for Band [score]. G. Schirmer: New York.
  • Gould, M. (1978, 1980). Suite from “Holocaust” : Kristallnacht for Band [score]. G. Schirmer: New York.
  • Gould, M. (1978, 1980). Suite from “Holocaust” : Liberation for Band [score]. G. Schirmer: New York.
  • Gould, M. (1978, 1980). Suite from “Holocaust” : Main Theme for Band [score]. G. Schirmer: New York.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 244-245.