Overture to "Béatrice et Bénédict"

From Wind Repertory Project
Hector Berlioz

Hector Berlioz (trans. Franz Henning)

General Info

Year: 1862 / 1937
Duration: c. 8:10
Difficulty: V (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/Flute III
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Bass Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Snare Drum


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Berlioz’s passionate love of Shakespeare’s plays led him to compose several works inspired by them. The opera Béatrice et Bénédict, based on Much Ado About Nothing, is the last of his Shakespeare settings and also his final major composition. The idea for it came to him in 1831, but numerous other projects delayed real work on it for nearly 30 years. A commission from impresario Edouard Benazet finally got Berlioz moving. Benazet asked for a piece to be performed at the gala opening of a new theatre in the German spa town of Baden Baden. He suggested a tragic episode from the Thirty Years’ War as the basis for the opera, but Berlioz persuaded him to use this saucy romantic comedy by Shakespeare instead. The composer wrote the text for the opera as well as the music, choosing to use the names of the play’s main characters as the title. He conducted the highly successful premiere himself at the opening of Benazet’s theatre on August 9, 1862. The overture to the opera sets the scene in brisk, playful fashion.

- Program Note from Oakland University Wind Symphony concert program, 22 February 2018


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Arkansas: V
  • Florida: VI
  • Georgia: VI
  • Kansas: V
  • Louisiana: V
  • Maryland: VI
  • Michigan: Senior High AA
  • Mississippi: VI-A
  • North Carolina: VI
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Béatrice et Bénédict, Wikipedia Accessed 23 February 2018
  • Berlioz, H.; Henning, F. (1937). Beatrice et Benedict [score]. Carl Fischer: New York.
  • Girsberger, Russ. Percussion Assignments for Band & Wind Ensemble. Volume I: A-K. Galesburg, MD: Meredith Music Publications, 2004, 36. Print.