Theme and Fugue from "The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra"

From Wind Repertory Project
Benjamin Britten

Benjamin Britten (arr. Richard Saucedo)

Subtitle: On a Theme of Purcell

General Info

Year: 1945 / 1947 / 2018
Duration: c. 4:40
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $145.00; (digital) - $145.00   |   Score Only (print) - $25.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbal
  • Gong
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34, is a musical composition by Benjamin Britten with the subtitle Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell. It was based on the second movement, "Rondeau", of the Abdelazer suite. It was originally commissioned for the British educational documentary film called Instruments of the Orchestra, released on 29 November 1946, directed by Muir Mathieson and featuring the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Malcolm Sargent. Sargent also conducted the concert premiere on 15 October 1946 with the Pool Philharmonic in the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, England.

- Program Note from Wikipedia

Originally composed to introduce the various instruments of the orchestra, this set of variations by Benjamin Britten is based on a melody by Henry Purcell. In this setting for wind band, the opening theme is presented and then followed by the exuberant fugue, which culminates in a glorious finale and recap of Purcell's melody.

- Program Note by publisher


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Britten, B.; Saucedo, R.; Purcell, H. (2018). Theme and Fugue from Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra: (On a Theme of Purcell) [score]. Boosey & Hawkes: London, Eng
  • Perusal score
  • Richard Saucedo website Accessed 7 March 2022