Petite Symphonie

From Wind Repertory Project
Charles Gounod

Charles Gounod

Subtitle: pour une Flûte, 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 E-flat and low B-flat I-II


In Score and Parts:

  • Clarinet I. Mvt. 1, m.113: tied first two notes should both be G rather than written A.

In Parts:

  • Bassoon I. Mvt. 1, reh. A: move "A" one measure later (starts on the repeated measure, 1 m. after the Allegretto).

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

  • Camerata Málaga (Málaga, Spain) (Miguel Etchegoncelay, conductor) - 14 January 2024
  • Ohio State University (Columbus) Symphonic Band (Scott A. Jones, conductor) - 8 March 2023
  • Arizona State University (Tempe) Chamber Winds - 16 November 2022
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Symphony Band Chamber Winds (Nicholas Balla, conductor) - 11 November 2022
  • Rockford (Ill.) Wind Ensemble (Ken Goodman, conductor) - 23 October 2022
  • University of Toronto (Ont., Can.) Wind Ensemble (Jeffrey Reynolds, conductor) - 14 October 2022
  • Chamber Winds of the University of Minnesota Wind Band Conducting Workshop (Minneapolis) (Jonathan Wong, conductor) - 15 July 2022
  • Palisades Chamber Ensemble (Mt. Vernon, Iowa) (Joshua W. Neuenschwander, conductor) - 28 March 2022
  • 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
  • Conservatorio Superior de Música "Manuel Castillo" (Sevilla, Spain) OSC (Jan Milosz Zarzycki, conductor) - 6 February 2029
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City, Wind Symphony – 5 December 2017
  • Fresno Pacific University (Fresno, Calif.) Symphonic Band (Erik 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

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works