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Fêtes from "Three Nocturnes"

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Claude Debussy

Claude Debussy (trans. Tatebe)

General Info

Year: 1899 / 1999
Duration: c. 6:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Bravo Music Company
Cost: Score and Parts - $110.00   |   Score Only - $15.00


Full Score
Piccolo (doubles Flute IV)
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Soprano Saxophone
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Cornet (in Bb) I-II (doubles flugelhorn)
Trumpet (in Bb) I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Cymbal (crash)
  • Marimba
  • Military Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Fêtes, Festivals, is the brilliant second movement of the orchestral work Three Nocturnes. This movement and the first (Nuages) were premiered in Paris on December 9, 1900. The third part, titled Sirenes, was premiered with a repetition of the other two on October 27, 1901.

Debussy's imagination, according to his own written description, dwelt on "the restless dancing rhythms of the atmosphere, interspersed with abrupt scintillations." After the exciting opening section, a procession starts as if approaching from a distance. Debussy described it as "a wholly visionary pageant, passing through and blending with the revelry, the background of the uninterrupted festival persisting: luminous dust participating in the universal rhythms." The music ends with a repetition of the opening measures, fading away into the distance.

- Program note from Band Music Notes

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

  • Florida: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Centenary College of Louisiana (Shreveport) Wind Ensemble (Thomas Hundemer, conductor) – 19 November 2019
  • Brooklyn (N.Y.) Wind Symphony (Jeff W. Ball, conductor) – 10 June 2017

Works for Winds by this Composer

This composer primarily wrote orchestral music. Other transcriptions of his music include:

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 161.