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Candide Suite

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Leonard Bernstein

Leonard Bernstein (trans. and adapt. Clare Grundman)

General Info

Year: 1956 / 1993
Duration: c. 12:20
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Cost: Score and Parts - $90.00   |   Score Only - $14.95


1. The Best of All Possible Worlds - 1:45
2. Westphalia Chorale and Battle Scene - 1:40
3. Auto-da-fé - 1:46
4. Glitter and Be Gay - 2:45
5. Make Our Garden Grow - 3:15


Full Score
C Piccolo
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 Contra-alto Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Hi-Hat
  • Snare Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Tenor Drum
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Candide was Leonard Bernstein’s third Broadway musical, following On the Town and Wonderful Town. Adapted by Lillian Hellman from Voltaire’s 18th-century satire on blind optimism, Bernstein’s Candide is an operetta set in the castle of the Baron Thunder-ten-Tronckh in the mythical European land of Westphalia. Within these walls live the Baron and Baroness; Cunégonde, their beautiful and innocent virgin daughter; Maximilian, their handsome son; Candide, their handsome bastard nephew; and Paquette, the Baroness’ buxom serving maid. They are taught by Dr. Pangloss, who preaches the philosophy that all is for the best in “The Best of All Possible Worlds.”

Candide and Cunégonde kiss, and Candide is banned from Westphalia. As he leaves, Bulgarians invade, kidnap him and slaughter everyone except for Cunégonde, who they prostitute out to a rich Jew and the Grand Inquisitor. Candide escapes and begins an optimistic, satirical journey, taking with him his sweetheart Cunégonde and Pangloss. Candide journeys to Lisbon, Paris, Buenos Aires, and even the legendary El Dorado, only to discover reality in the forms of crime, atrocity, and suffering. He returns to Venice with Cunégonde, stripped of his idealism. His ultimate emotional maturation concludes in the finale with “You’ve been a fool, and so have I, But come and be my wife, And let us try before we die, To make good sense of life. We’re neither pure nor wise nor good; We’ll do the best we know; We’ll build our house, and chop our wood, And make our garden grow.”

Opening on Broadway on December 1, 1956, Candide was perhaps a bit too intellectually weighty for its first audiences and closed after just 73 performances. Bernstein was less concerned over the money lost than the failure of a work he cared about deeply. The critics had rightly noted a marvelous score, and Bernstein and others kept tinkering with the show over the years. With each revival, Candide won bigger audiences. In 1989, the already seriously ill Bernstein spent his last ounces of vital energy recording a new concert version of the work. “There’s more of me in that piece than anything else I’ve done,” he said.

- Program note by San Luis Obispo Wind Orchestra concert program, 12 May 2012

This suite, arranged by Clare Grundman, is made up of five numbers from the musical Candide. In the first movement, The Best of All Possible Worlds, Doctor Pangloss, Voltaire's satirical portrait of the philosopher Gottfried von Leibnitz, tutors his Westphalian pupils. In the second movement. Wesphalia Chorale and Battle Scene, the devout Westphalians sing a chorale praising the integrity of their homeland, after which they are massacred by the invading Bulgarian army. In movement three, Auto-de-fe, Candide and Dr. Pangloss find themselves in Lisbon, where, being free-thinkers, they are prosecuted as heretics by the Spanish Inquisition; however, Candide and Dr. Pangloss escape.

The fourth movement, Glitter and Be Gay, depicts Cunegonde, Candide's true love, singing of her attempts to maintain a brilliant, carefree exterior, while she may (or may not) be tortured inwardly by self-doubt. The final movement, Make Our Garden Grow, has Candide realizing that the only purpose of living is to cultivate the earth and to create a garden.

- Program Note from the University of Texas Symphony Band concert program, 30 November 2016 

Commercial Discography

Audio Links

None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

  • Florida: VI
  • Texas: III, IV, and V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Wando High School (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) Band (Bobby Lambert, conductor; Alice Keene, harp) - 19 December 2019 (2019 Midwest Clinic)
  • The College of New Jersey (Ewing) Concert Band (Eric Laprade, conductor) – 18 October 2019
  • University of South Florida (Tampa) Symphonic Band (John Carmichael, conductor) – 8 October 2019
  • University of Kentucky (Lexington) Wind Symphony (John Cody Birdwell, conductor) – 15 September 2019
  • Carthage College (Kenosha, Wisc.) Wind Orchestra (James Ripley, conductor) – 17 May 2019
  • Lone Star Youth Winds (Dallas, Tx.) (Amanda Drinkwater, conductor) – 12 May 2019
  • Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA) Symphonic Band (Joshua W. Neuenschwander, conductor) - 11 May 2019
  • Virginia Tech (Blacksburg) Symphony Band (Polly Middleton, conductor) – 5 May 2019
  • Sacramento (Calif.) State University Concert Band (Arianna Guntvedt, conductor) – 1 May 2019
  • Durham (N.C.) Community Concert Band (Tom Shaffer, conductor) – 14 April 2019
  • Dallas (Tx.) Winds (Jerry Junkin, conductor) – 26 March 2019
  • Cobb Wind Symphony (Marietta, Ga.) (Alfred L. Watkins, conductor) – 10 March 2019
  • Colorado State University (Fort Collins) Symphonic Band (T. André Feagin, conductor)- 4 March 2019
  • University of Florida (Gainesville) Tuesday/Thursday Concert Band (Chip Birkner, conductor) – 26 February 2019
  • Concordia College (Moorhead, Minn.) Band (Peter Haberman, conductor) – 10 February 2019
  • Austin (Tx.) Symphonic Band (Richard Floyd, conductor) – 18 November 2018
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Wind Ensemble (Scott Teeple, conductor) – 18 November 2018
  • Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisc.) Symphonic Band (Matthew Arau, conductor) – 9 November 2018
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Symphonic Band 2 (Michael Robinson, conductor) – 7 November 2018
  • Metropolitan Wind Symphony (Lexington, Mass). (Louis J. Buckley, conductor) – 4 November 2018
  • University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) Wind Ensemble (Travis J. Cross, conductor) – 2 November 2018
  • Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) Wind Symphony (Don L. Peterson, conductor) – 1 November 2018

Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Cool (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Murtha) (1957/2018)
  • West Side Story (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Sweeney) (1957/2015)

All Wind Works


  • Bernstein, L., Grundman, C. (1993). Candide Suite [score]. Boosey & Hawkes: [New York].
  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. 2002. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 4. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 281-292.