Fingal's Cave Overture (tr Seredy)

From Wind Repertory Project
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (trans. Julius S. Seredy)

This work is also known as Hebrides Overture. It bears the designation Opus 26.

General Info

Year: 1832 / 1946
Duration: c. 8:55
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print.

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Full Score
C Piccolo
D-flat Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet Solo-I-II
B-flat Trumpet I-II
B-flat Flugelhorn
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium I-II
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This work is also known as Hebrides Overture. Virtually a tone poem, it was written in 1832 and is still as popular as ever.

After a busy concert season in London, Mendelssohn made a pleasure tour through Scotland, where he was greatly impressed by the wild and beautiful scenery. There he conceived the idea of the Fingal's Cave Overture, one of the pieces in which his poetic imagination found happiest and most flawless expression. The ocean-washed cave on the Isle of Staffa, in the Hebrides, and the ruins of a vast, fantastic castle are suggested, with eerie sights and sounds making up the dramatic thoughts of the overture.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

Mendelssohn’s “concert overture” The Hebrides was composed in 1830, revised in 1832, and published the next year as his Opus 26. Some consider it an early tone poem.

It was inspired by one of his trips to the British Isles, specifically an 1829 excursion to the Scottish island of Staffa, with its basalt sea cave known as “Fingal’s Cave.” It is not known whether Mendelssohn set foot on the island, the cave being best visible from the water, but the composer himself reported that he immediately jotted down the opening theme for his composition. He at first called the work “To the Lonely Island,” or “Zur einsamen Insel,” then settled on the present title. However, in 1834, the year after the first publication, Breitkopf & Härtel issued an edition with the name “Fingalshöhle,” or Fingal’s Cave, and this title stuck, causing some confusion.

Being a concert overture, The Hebrides does not precede a play or opera but is instead a standalone composition in a form common for the Romantic period. Dedicated to King Frederick William IV of Prussia, then Crown Prince of Prussia, the B-minor work became part of the standard orchestral repertoire and retains this position to the present day.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Arkansas: V
  • Florida: VI
  • Maryland: VI
  • Tennessee: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Indiana University at South Bend Wind Symphony / Twin Cities Concert Band (Dennis Gamble, conductor) - 30 March 2019
  • Atascadero (Calif.) Community Band (Randy Schwalbe, conductor) – 5 November 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Scherzo (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Ambrose) (1823/2021)

All Wind Works


  • The Hebrides (overture). Wikipedia. Accessed 5 November 2017
  • Mendelssohn-Bertholdy, F.; Seredy, J. (1946). Fingal's Cave: Overture [score]. C. Fischer: New York.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 424.