Wagner for Band: A Repertoire List

The music of Richard Wagner has always been a favourite amongst band conductors. At times Wagner himself recommended some of his music as an appropriate addition to the band repertoire. Here is an example, a letter to Friedrich Wilhelm Graf von Redern, dated Dresden, 26 June 1846, where Wagner wrote,

While I doubt that there are many pieces in my opera that are suitable for production as military music, I permit myself to draw your attention, however, particularly to one number which has gone exceedingly well on parades here in Dresden; I refer to the first section of the fourth scene of the second Act; it is in the style of a March with chorus … that lends itself well to treatment as an effective piece for military band.

Here he is talking about Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral, and his use of the term “Military Band” simply reflects the large band with woodwinds and brass and does not suggest a “military” style.

There are now a great number of works by Wagner available for band, at all levels of difficulty.

Non-Exhaustive
The following list is by no means exhaustive. New arrangements are being written all the time and there are smaller, boutique publishers popping up around the world. It is very difficult to keep up with every new arrangement on the market.
Subjective
Any discussion of repertoire is always going to be subjective. What appeals to one won’t necessarily appeal to another.
Curated
All the lists of repertoire I recommend are curated. There are no pop songs, show tunes or film scores. There are also (generally) no medleys, even if they are of works by Beethoven or Bach. Although the arranger’s intention is to present more than one work to the students as an educational aim, medleys fail the composer by changing the impression his work was supposed to have, often turning three aesthetic compositions into an entertainment spectacle (medleys also often have stupid titles.) Any arrangement that changes the style intended by the composer is also left out. Arrangements that have the words ‘Rock’ or ‘Boogie’ in the title should be burned.

Tips for conductors

I use two books to look up the most recommended recordings of orchestral music: The Penguin Guide to the 1000 Finest Classical recordings, and the 1001 Classical Recordings You Must Hear Before You Die. I look up the works in these two books and then listen to them on Spotify, and try to find videos of the conductors on YouTube. When conducting transcriptions it is imperative to do them justice as works of art, and not treat them as dumbed-down versions worthy of less than our best efforts.

Level 1

Overture to Rienzi
arr. Mark Williams
Alfred
2:31

Level 2

Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral
arr. Robert E. Foster Jr.
Wingert-Jones Publications
3:40

Die Meistersinger Themes
arr. Daehn
Daehn Publications
2:12

Pilgrims Chorus
J Cacavas
Alfred
2:44

Pilgrims Chorus
arr. Eric Osterling
Hal Leonard

Prelude from Parsifal
arr. Osterling
Hal Leonard

Tannhauser March
arr. Henderson
Alfred

Die Meistersinger
arr. Story
Alfred

Tannhauser Overture (Theme)
arr. Tyler
Alfred

Grand March from Tannhauser
arr. Bender
Carl Fischer

Pilgrims Chorus from Tannhauser
arr. Holmes
Rubank

Level 3

Ride of the Valkyries
arr. Mark Williams
Alfred
2:02

Lohengrin-Excerpts
arr. Eric Osterling
Ludwig-Masters Publications

O du mein holder Abendstern
Jos van de Braak
Baton Music

Pilgrim’s Chorus (from “Tannhauser”)
arr. Bullock
Alfred
3:36

Die Meistersinger
arr. G Milford
Alfred
5:56

Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral
arr. Frank Erickson
Alfred

Themes from Tannhauser
arr. Thygerson
Heritage Music Press

Ouverture Du Vaisseau Fantome
arr. Georges Corroyez
Editions Robert Martin

Euch Luften, die mein Klagen
arr. Christian E. Schuller
Baton Music

Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral
Bocook
Hal Leonard

Scenes from Rienzi
arr. Hubbell
Heritage Music Press

Tannhauser Suite
arr. Daniels
Alfred

Prelude to Act Three of Lohengrin
arr. Frank Erickson
Alfred

Rienzi
arr. Osterling
Ludwig-Masters Publications

Level 4

Prelude to Parsifal
arr. John R. Bourgeois
Wingert-Jones Publications
12:23

Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral
trans. David Whitwell
Maxime’s Music

Trauermusik
Mod. edn. David Whitwell
Maxime’s Music

Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral
arr. Bradley Kerr Green
Print Music Source

Lohengrin
arr. Donald Patterson
CL Barnhouse
3:58

Trauermusik
arr. Votta, Boyd
Ludwig-Masters Publications
8:20

Huldigungsmarsch
Mod. edn. David Whitwell
Maxime’s Music

Homage March
ed. Bourgeois
Wingert-Jones Publications
5:27

Kaisermarsch
arr. Franco Hanle
Baton Music

Heil, Konig Heinrich
arr. Geert Mooren
Baton Music

Die Meistersinger
arr. Eric Osterling
Ludwig-Masters Publications

Lohengrin
arr. Christian E. Schuller
Baton Music

Sigfried’s Trauermarsch
arr. Christiaan Janssen
Baton Music

Siegfrieds Funeral Music
arr. Whear
CL Barnhouse

Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral
arr. Mark Hindsley
Hindsley Transcriptions

Die Frist ist um
arr. Jos van de Braak
Baton Music

Level 5

Excerpts from Die Walküre
Arranged by David Whitwell
Maxime’s Music

Excerpts from Siegfried
Arranged by David Whitwell
Maxime’s Music

Excerpts from Das Rheingold
Arranged by David Whitwell
Maxime’s Music

Excerpts from Götterdämmerung
Arranged by David Whitwell
Maxime’s Music

Entrance of the Guests (from Tannhauser)
arr. Mark Prowen
Mark Prowen
6:29

Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral (from “Lohengrin”)
arr. Lucien Cailliet
Alfred
5:59

Prelude to Parsifal
arr. John R. Bourgeois
Wingert-Jones Publications
12:23

Ride of the Valkyries
trans. Robert Longfield
CL Barnhouse
4:40

Tannhauser Grand March
arr. McAlister/Reed
Masters Music Publications Inc

Liebestod – Archive
arr. Glenn Cliffe Bainum
Neil A Kjos

Rienzi
arr.
J. Neumann & Co.
12:06

Ride of the Valkyries
L. P. Laurendeau
J. Neumann & Co.
5:30

Homage March
ed. Bourgeois
Wingert-Jones Publications
5:27

Procession of the Knights
arr. Houseknecht
Carl Fischer

Rienzi Overture
arr. D. Patterson
Southern Music Company

Prelude and Love-Death from Tristan und Isolde
arr. Mark Hindsley
Hindsley Transcriptions

Trauersinfonie
arr. Erik Leidzen
Associated Music Pub.

Tristan und Isolde
arr. Christiaan Janssen
Baton Music

Lohengrin
arr. Marco Tamanini
Baton Music

Rienzi (Overture)
arr. Douglas McLain
Baton Music

Was duftet doch der Flieder
arr. Jos van de Braak
Baton Music

Wahn! Wahn! Uberall Wahn!
arr. Jos van de Braak
Baton Music

Prelude from Tristan and Isolde
arr. G. Brand
G&M Brand

Ride of the Valkyries
arr. Mark Hindsley
Hindsley Transcriptions

Pilgrims Chorus from Tannhauser
arr. Alfred Reed
CL Barnhouse
3:56

Die Meistersinger
arr. Mark Hindsley
Hindsley Transcriptions

Lohengrin – Introduction to Act 3
arr. Mark Hindsley
Hindsley Transcriptions

Lohengrin-Prelude to Act Three
arr. G. Brand
G&M Brand

Procession to the Cathedral
arr. Patterson
TRN Music

Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral
trans. Bourgeois
Wingert-Jones Publications

Das Libesverbot
arr. Jurrens
Hal Leonard

Lohengrin, Act 1 Excerpts
arr. Lucien Cailliet
Alfred

Huldingungs March
arr. Alfred Reed
Masters Music Publications

Feast of the Apostles
arr. Jurrens
Hal Leonard

Good Friday Spell
arr. Earl Slocum
Alfred

Invocation of Alberich
arr. Lucien Cailliet
Sam Fox

Good Friday Spell from Parsi
arr. Godfrey
Chappell Music Company

Introduction to Act 3 from Lohengrin
arr. Lucien Cailliet
J.W. Pepper & Son

Level 6

Gotterdammerung
arr. Christiaan Janssen
Baton Music

Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg Prelude (Overture)
arr. Trans. Theodore Moses-Tobani
J. Neumann & Co.

Entry of the Gods Valhalla
arr. Godfrey
J.W. Pepper & Son

Rienzi
arr. Meyrelles
Carl Fischer LLC

Tannhauser Overture
arr. Mark Hindsley
Hindsley Transcriptions

Tannhauser
arr. Safranek
Carl Fischer LLC

Flying Dutchman Overture
arr. Kenneth Singleton
Masters Music Publications

Die Walkure
arr. Christiaan Janssen
Baton Music

Siegfried (Symphonic Suite)
arr. Christiaan Janssen
Baton Music

Entry of the Gods Valhalla
arr. O’Neill
Carl Fischer

Flying Dutchman Overture
arr. Mark Hindsley
Hindsley Transcriptions

Rienzi Overture
arr. Mark Hindsley
Hindsley Transcriptions

Prelude to Parsifal
arr. Godfrey
Chappell Music

Rienzi Overture
arr. Godfrey
Chappell Music Company

Faust Overture
arr. Godfrey
Chappell Music Company

Brunnhildes Awakening
arr.
Boosey & Hawkes

Lohengrin, Excerpts from Act 1
arr. Lucien Cailliet
Hal Leonard

Siegfrieds Rhine Journey
arr. Lucien Cailliet
J.W. Pepper & Son

Entry of the Gods into Valhalla
arr. Godfrey
Boosey & Hawkes

Wotans Farewell and Magic Fire Music
arr. Winterbottom
Boosey & Hawkes

Siegfrieds Rhine Journey
arr. Lucien Cailliet
Alfred

Die Meistersinger
arr. Winterbottom
Boosey & Hawkes

Flying Dutchman Overture
arr.
Chappell Music Company

Flying Dutchman Overture
arr. Laurendau
Carl Fischer

Tristan and Isolde
arr. Godfrey
Masters Music Publications

Vorspiel und Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde
arr. Godfrey
Boosey & Hawkes

Siegfrieds Rhine Journey
Arr. Lucien Cailliet
J.W. Pepper & Son

Flying Dutchman Overture
arr.
G. Schirmer

Siegfrieds Rhine Journey
arr. Hibbert
Boosey & Hawkes

Das Rheingold (Symphonic Suite)
arr. Christiaan Janssen
Baton Music

Related Post