Catalogue :: Brass Band

March to the Scaffold
Composer
Hector Berlioz
Arranger
Robert Childs
Price
£ 34.95
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Difficulty Level
-
Instrumentation
Brass Band
Duration
00:06:00
Description

The Symphonie Fantastique, the first of Berlioz's major works, was composed in 1830 when he was 26. 'March to the Scaffold', the fourth movement in this major work is music borrowed from Les Francs Juges, an abandoned opera started in 1826, originally titled 'March of the Guards'. The ending of the original was changed to accommodate the appearance of the idée fixe. This tune itself was used in an earlier work, the cantata Herminie of 1828. 

March to the Scaffold depicts a young man in despair, having been shunned by the woman he loves. He poisons himself with opium. The narcotic, too weak to take his life, plunges the man into a long sleep. He has a series of vivid dreams and nightmares always involving images of his beloved. The hero dreams that he has killed her and has been sentenced to death. He sees himself being marched through the crowded streets amidst wild jeers from excited onlookers until he finally reaches the scaffold.

Just before the guillotine descends to cut off his head, he imagines he sees his beloved in the crowd. Her tune is played by the soprano cornet and is the last thing seen or heard before the guillotine falls. He is killed, and the movement comes to a dramatic close. 

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