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Ruy Blas Overture

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Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (arr. Moses-Tobani)

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General Info

Year: 1839 / 1900
Duration: c. 12:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Carl Fischer
Cost: Score and Parts - Out of print.

For availability information, see Discussion tab, above.


Full Score
Flute I-II
E-flat Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet Solo-I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
E-flat Soprano Cornet
Cornets Solo-I-II-III-IV
E-flat Horn or Alto I-II-III
Tenor Horn
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)

(Percussion instrumentation undifferentiated in score)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Ruy Blas is one of Victor Hugo's supercharged romantic tragedies: the tale of a lackey who gains great political power and finally sacrifices himself t save a queen's life. In February 1839 representatives of the Theatrical Pension Fund at Leipzig asked Mendelssohn to white "an overture and a romance" for a charity performance of Victor Hugo's Ruy Blas. (1938). Mendelssohn found the task onerous but consented to supply them with their overture, which he finished in two days. It has virtually nothing in common with Hugo's play (e.g., the play ends tragically; the overture is a blaze of triumph). But considered as a piece of absolute music, it reveals all of Mendelssohn's compositional characteristics.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Callanwode Concert Band (Atlanta, Ga.) (Glenn Moore, conductor) – 18 September 20156
  • Maybrook (N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (Kevin Scott, conductor) - 24 April 2015

Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Scherzo (Flex instrumentation) (arr. Ambrose) (1823/2021)

All Wind Works


  • Encyclopedia of Band Music. "Felix Mendelssohn." Accessed 20 April 2015.
  • Mendelssohn, F.; Moses-Tobani, T. [1900]. Ruy Blas: Overture [score]. Fischer: New York.
  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 424