Grande Symphonie Funèbre et Triomphale (ed. Dondeyne)

From Wind Repertory Project
Hector Berlioz

Hector Berlioz (arr. Désiré Dondeyne)

The work bears the designation Opus 15. The title translates from the French as "[Grand] Funeral and Triumphal Symphony."

General Info

Year: 1840 / 1994
Duration: c. 30:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Elkins Music International
Cost: Score and Parts - $630.00   |   Score Only - €82


1. Marche funèbre - c. 20:00
2. Oraison funèbre - c. 9:00
3. Apothéose - c. 9:00


Full Score
Bassoon I-II
Contrabassoon (optional)
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet (ad lib.)
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II
B-flat Bugle I-II
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
B-flat Flugelhorn I-II-III (optional)
Horn in F I-II-III-IV (including optional Mellophones)
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone/s
Saxhorn and tenor horn (ad lib)
Tuba (including optional Sousaphones if avialable)
String Bass (optional)
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum/s
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong
  • Snare Drum/s
  • Tam-Tam
  • Triangle
  • Tambourine


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The symphony was a commission by the French government to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the 1830 July Revolution which had brought Louis-Philippe to power, by erecting the July Column in the place de la Bastille, Paris. Berlioz had little sympathy for the régime, but he accepted the opportunity to write the work which brought him a payment of 10,000 francs. The Symphonie militaire (later renamed Symphonie funébre et triomphale), far from being a successor to Romeo and Juliet, represents a reversion to an earlier, pre-Beethovenian style, the monumental French tradition of public ceremonial music.

Remarkably, Berlioz claimed to have finished the score to the entire symphony in only 40 hours. This strengthens the supposition that Berlioz in fact harvested much of the musical material for the Grande symphonie funèbre et triomphale from unfinished works. The first movement, the Marche funèbre, was constructed from the Fête musicale funèbre à la mémoiredes homes illustres de la France...

The symphony was originally scored for a wind band of 200 players who were to accompany the procession which moved the coffins of those who had died fighting in the 1830 revolution for reburial beneath a memorial column which had been set up on the site of the Bastille. Berlioz himself led the band. On the actual day of the parade, little of the music could be heard over the cheering crowds who lined the way. Nevertheless, the work had been such a success at the dress rehearsal that it was given two more performances in August, which sealed its reputation as one of the composer's most popular works during his lifetime.

Berlioz revised the score in January of 1842, adding an optional part for strings and a final chorus to words by Antony Deschamps. ... Richard Wagner told Robert Schumann that he found passages in the last movement of Berlioz's symphony so "magnificent and sublime that they can never be surpassed."

- Program note from Wikipedia

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer