Roman Carnival Overture (tr Kreines)

From Wind Repertory Project
Hector Berlioz

Hector Berlioz (trans. Joseph Kreines)

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General Info

Year: 1838 / 1844 /
Duration: c. 9:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Aeolus Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $90.00


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Program Notes

This is a brilliant showcase for advanced ensembles that is amazingly loyal to the original. The short and quick opening burst of sound (6/8 and 2/4, Allegro assai eon fuoco, B-flat major) leads to a charming and expressive English horn solo (3/4, Andante Sostenuto, D-flat Major) accompanied by clarinet choir. A short answer (F major) by woodwind sonorities guides back to the English horn solo. A contrasting section ensues (B-flat major) with the melody contained in the upper woodwinds and energetic accompaniment figures in the brass and percussion. This is interrupted by a poco animato section and a return to tempo I (6/8, allegro vivace) beginning with fragments of the opening material thinly scored in the woodwinds. This lengthy section becomes exceedingly well developed using various textures, articulations, extreme dynamics, accidentals and elaborate brass combinations. A seamless two-measure duple section provides a new transition for the previous 6/8 section, but this time it begins pp using unison legato woodwind articulations and rhythms. This builds in both intensity and volume with clever contrasts of dynamics and meter into one of the most thrilling conclusions of all the literature.

- Program Note from Music for Concert Band

Le carnaval romain, ouverture pour orchestre (Roman Carnival Overture), Op. 9, was composed in 1844 and first performed at the Salle Herz, Paris, on 3 February 1844. A stand-alone overture intended for concert performance, made up of material and themes from Berlioz's opera Benvenuto Cellini, including some music from the opera's carnival scene – hence the overture's title. It is scored for large orchestra, is in the key of A major, and features a prominent and famous solo for the cor anglais.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


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State Ratings

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Works for Winds by this Composer


  • Krienes, J.; Hansbrough, R. (2014). Music for Concert Band: A Selective Annotated Guide to Band Literature. Meredith Music Publications: Delray Beach, Fla.; pp. 91-92.
  • Overtures by Hector Berlioz, Wikipedia. Accessed 3 October 2020