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Fortinbras March from "Hamlet"

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Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Shostakovich (trans. Benjamin Suchoff)

General Info

Year: 1967
Duration: c. 2:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: MCA
Cost: Score and Parts – Out of print

For availability information, see Discussion tab. above.


Full Score
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass 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
Horn in F I-II-III
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Soviet production of Hamlet that Shostakovich wrote his 1932 incidental music for was banned after the first performance. According to the composer it was the "most scandalous production in the history of Shakespeare." The stage director, Akimov, had some funny ideas for his production of Hamlet: Hamlet (who was not even the main character in this production) was an obese drunken man who made up the story of the ghost to scare his mother and uncle, Ophelia was quite a lady of the night, and the plot was terribly twisted. Predictably, the production was immediately banned and all that has remained is the music from Shostakovich's score.

Shostakovich's music matches Akimov's dark ideas of the production. The suite is a tour de force of ironic farce for Shostakovich. The Fortinbras March is the last of the 13 movements.

In 1963 Shostakovich also wrote an original soundtrack for the movie Hamlet directed by Grigori Kozintsev. This music is available as a suite of 23 movements.

- Program Note from Hillcrest Wind Ensemble YouTube – 23 October 2011


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Encore Concert Band (Mokena, Ill.) (Bill Schuetter, conductor) – 1 May 2016

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Waltz No. 2 (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Brown) (post 1956/2021)

All Wind Works