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Entry of the Gladiators

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Julius Fučik

Julius Fučík (tr. Louis-Philippe Laurendeau, arr. Seredy and ed. Ragsdale)

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This work is also well known as Thunder and Blazes.

General Info

Year: 1901 / 2007
Duration: c. 2:40
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score and Parts - $80.00   |   Score Only - $17.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
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

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Fučik composed his march, Opus 68, also known as Thunder and Blazes,between 1897 and 1900 while he was a military bandmaster in the Austro-Hungarian city of Sarajevo. The original title had been Grande Marche Chromatique, but Fučik was fascinated by the description of gladiators entering a Roman amphitheater in Henry Sienkiewicz's book Quo Vadis? - Whither Goest Thou? that he changed to the present title. The book concerns the gladiators during the rule of the infamous and depraved Nero (A.D. 54-68); however, the Emperor Titus, who ruled from A.D. 7-81, presented an even bloodier exhibition of gladiators, wild beasts, and sea fights which involved 10,000 men and lasted 100 days.

In this march the upper brasses announce the entry followed in the second strain by the lower brasses who represent the combat. At the present time, Entry of the Gladiators usually refers to the heroes and heroines under the circus big top, the daring riders in the rodeo, or the muscular athletes on the playing fields. Although it is often played at break-neck speed, the proper original tempo is from 100 to 120 beats per minute, as most European marches are played.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


State Ratings

  • Kansas: IV


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Austin (Tx.) Symphonic Band (Richard Floyd, conductor) – 12 November 2019
  • Stuart (Fla.) Community Concert Band (Jim LeBob, conductor) – 28 April 2019
  • Gold Coast Wind Ensemble (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) (Michael Doty, conductor) - 10 June 2018
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) University Band & Maroon Campus Band (Betsy McCann, conductor) – 30 October 2017
  • Stony Brook University (New York) Wind Ensemble (Bruce Engel, conductor) – 12 April 2017
  • United States Army Field Band (Ft. Meade, Md.) (Jim Keene, conductor) – 25 June 2016 (Selinsgrove, Penn.)
  • Lone Star Symphonic Band (Katy, Tex.) (Bob Bryant, conductor) - 3 May 2015
  • Cedar Park (Tx.) Middle School Symphonic Band (Manuel C. San Luis, conductor) – 20 December 2007 (2007 Midwest Clinic)

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Julius Fučík." Accessed 29 April 2015.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 214.
  • Fučík, J.; Laurendeau, L.; Seredy, J.; Ragsdale, V. (2007) Entry of the Gladiators = Einzug der Gladiatoren : (Thunder and blazes) [score]. Carl Fischer: New York.