In composing his massive work "Symphonie Fantastique", Hector Belioz writes of a dream sequence of an artist, thus the subtitle, an "Episode in the Life of an Artist". It is a series of five movements that tells ths story of an artist with a lively imagination who has poisoned himself with opium. During the dream he has visions of his love, the theme "idée fixe" is constantly re-occurring throughout the work.

This arrangement, set for large saxophone ensemble, is taken from the Otto Singer piano transcription, 74 pages of 2-piano for 4 hands. Transcribing the piano music into Finale alone took almost 6 weeks and about another month to arrange the five individual movements. The saxphone compliment is; Sopranino (JABB) and CMB 2 Soprano, 5 Alto, 2 Tenor, 2 Baritone and Bass saxophones. In addition there is GPO chimes, timpani and cymbals. This work most certainly puts the libraries to their test over the full range of the instruments!

One word of warning, Berlioz tends to jump around a lot in the dynamics so it is not advisable to turn the volume way up in a soft passage!

I. Rêveries - Passions

II. A Ball

III. Rural Scenes

IV. March to the Scaffold

V. Dreams of a Witch's Sabbath

An excellent treatment of the work can be found at