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Entry of the Gladiators (arr. Balent)

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Julius Fučik

Julius Fučík (arr. Andrew Balent)

Subtitle: Thunder and Blazes.

This work bears the designation Opus 68.

General Info

Year: 1900 / 2004
Duration: c. 2:20
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $85.00   |   Score Only (print) - $12.00


Full Score
Flute 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
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Mallet Percussion
  • Snare Drum
  • Triangle


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 has 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

Works for Winds by this Composer


Accessed 20 July 2022

  • Fučik, J.; Balent, A. (2004). Entry of the Gladiators: Thunder and Blazes [score]. Carl Fischer: [New Uork].
  • Perusal score
  • Smith, Norman E. (1986). March Music Notes. Lake Charles, La.: Program Note Press, pp. 142.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 214.