Funeral March of a Marionette
Composed by Charles Gounod (1818-1893)
For Interchangeable Woodwind Ensemble
Arranged by David Marlatt
Published by Eighth Note Publications
Includes score and parts
Part 1 – Flute, Oboe, or Clarinet
Part 2 – Flute, Oboe, or Clarinet
Part 3 – Clarinet or Alto Saxophone
Part 4 – Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, or F Horn
Part 5 – Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, or Baritone Saxophone
Charles Gounod intended to compose a multi-movement work for solo piano called Suite Burlesque, and one of its movements was to be Funeral March of a Marionette. This was the only movement completed. He later orchestrated it and it has become his most popular concert work.
It has been suggested that Gounod wrote this piece as a protrait of Henry Chorley, a music critic from London. Chorley had “a thin, sour, high-pitched, soprano-ish voice” and moved like “a stuffed red-haired monkey.” He played this work for a friend who added the program to go with the music. It has long been known as the theme song for Alfred Hitchcock's television shows.
The story is as follows:
The marionette died in a duel; the music describes the funeral procession; the solemnity is relieved with a happy sprightly section in which the mourners stop at an inn for refreshments; the funeral march is resumed and it ends on a somber note.