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Petite Symphonie

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Charles Gounod

Charles Gounod

Subtitle: Pour une Flute, deux Hautbois, deux Clarinettes, deux Cors, et deux Bassons

General Info

Year: 1885
Duration: c. 19:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Costallat & Cie
Cost: Score & Parts - Out of print.

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


1. Adagio, Allegro - 5:40
2. Andante Cantabile - 5:14
3. Scherzo: Allegro Moderato - 4:07
4. Finale: Allegretto - 3:34


Full Score
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
Horn in F I-II


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Petite symphonie pour neuf instruments à vent, or the "Little Symphony for Winds," was composed in 1885. Gounod's friend, and flute professor at the Paris Conservatiore, Paul Taffanel, commissioned him to write a chamber piece for winds. Its instrumentation of a wind octet, with an added flute part in honor of Taffanel, is modeled after Mozart’s wind serenades.

This complete miniature symphony is elegant, delicate, and sweet. The first movement uses a slow introduction, like that of Haydn, and an Allegretto in sonata form. The second movement features the added flute part. The scherzo that follows is based on a hunting theme, with a lively finale in the fourth movement to end the symphony.

- Notes from The Philharmonic Winds

Like many French instrumental works of the late Romantic era, Petite Symphonie is anti-Wagnerian in its simplicity and its conservative form. In four movements, the work follows the form of a standard symphony. Themes are regular in structure, follow traditional harmonic expectations, and contrast in character. This work is playable by fine high school and collegiate musicians, although younger groups may opt to perform select movements. This is an excellent piece for teaching style and interpretation. As solos are passed around the group, players must listen across the ensemble to perform in a stylistically cohesive manner. This delightful piece could serve as a refreshing contribution to a standard band concert.

- Notes from Great Music for Wind Band


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Chamber Winds (Kevin Michael Holzman, conductor) - 30 November 2021
  • University of Texas at Arlington Wind Symphony (Douglas Stotter, conductor) - 14 March 2021
  • The Atlanta Wind Project (Georgia) (Michael A. Lewis, conductor) - 20 November 2020
  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Chamber Winds (John Stanley Ross, conductor) - 8 October 2020
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles) Thornton Wind Ensemble (H. Robert Reynolds, conductor) - 1 November 2019
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City, Wind Symphony – 5 December 2017
  • Fresno Pacific University (Fresno, Calif.) Symphonic Band (Eric Leung, conductor) – 21 November 2017
  • Ithaca (N.Y.) College Wind Ensemble (Christopher Hughes, conductor) – 2 May 2017
  • Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant) Wind Symphony Chamber Winds (James Batcheller, conductor) – 27 April 2017
  • State University of New York, Potsdam, Crane Wind Ensemble (Brian K. Doyle, conductor) – 20 March 2017
  • New England Conservatory (Boston, Mass.) Wind Ensemble (Charles Peltz, conductor) – 15 December 2016
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Concert Band (Courtney Snyder, conductor) – 5 December 2016
  • University of Texas, Arlington, Wind Symphony (Douglas Stotter, conductor) – 23 October 2016
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Caroline Hand, conductor) – 25 March 2016
  • Cuesta Wind Ensemble (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) (Jennifer Martin, conductor) - 7 December 2011
  • Lynn Conservatory of Music (Boca Raton, Fla.) Wind Ensemble (Kenneth Amis, conductor) – 22 January 2009

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works