Dream of a Witches Sabbath

Hector Berlioz
Catalog numbers: 

SMC S887FS/ HL 3778887

Duration (minutes): 
Detailed Instrumentation: 
Berlioz considered it very important that listeners should understand the program of the cycle of five movements which made make up his most famous "Symphonie Fantastique", so he insisted that audience members be issued a copy of the detailed program he had written for the this work.  The program for movement five read as such: "Dream of a Witches' Sabbath." He sees himself at the sabbath, in the midst of a frightful troop of ghosts, sorcerers, monsters of every kind, come together for his funeral.  Strange noises, groans, bursts of laughter, distant cries with other cries seem to answer.  The beloved melody appears again, but it has lost its character of nobility and shyness; it is no more than a dance tune, mean, trivial, and grotesque: it is she, coming to join the sabbath.  This transcription by Mark Rogers preserves every possible aspect of Berlioz' orchestration with its startling originality and brilliant instrumental effect, with the parts for orchestral woodwinds, brass, and timpani instruments entirely intact, affording aspiring young players the opportunity to experience the full riches of Berlioz' extraordinary writing.   Three of the movements of "Symphonie Fantastique" have been transcribed for band and are available from he publisher: Movement II- "Un Bal", Movement IV- "March To The Scaffold", and Movement V- "Dream of a Witches Sabbath".