Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral (tr Cailliet) (2024)

Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner (trans. Lucien Cailliet)

General Info

Year: 1846-48 / 1938
Duration: c. 6:35
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Publishing Co.
Cost: Score and Parts - $77.00 | Score Only - $10.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Contrabassoon (optional, but included in the score)
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet (optional, but included in the score)
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Bass Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass (div. a2)
Percussion (4 players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal


In Parts:

  • C Flute III, m.75: Rehearsal "9" should be here, not in meas. 76
  • Alto Clarinet, m.75: Rehearsal "9" should be here, not in meas. 76
  • Horn in F I, m.18 (2 after reh. 2) beat 3: E-flat should read E natural
  • Horn in F III, m.63: Rehearsal "8" should be here, not in meas. 64 [Corrected in 2005 printing]
  • Horn in F IV, m.46, beat 3: Add half rest [Corrected in 2005 edition]

In Score and Parts:

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet I, m.22: Part and score have a B-flat. I should be a B-natural.
  • Bass Clarinet, m.17: Part and score have an A4. It should be a C4.
  • Timpani, m.16: Part and score have a B-natural. It should be a B-flat.

Additional errata published in Fennell article (see References below).
To use Fennell errata, bar count must be added to each part. Use this guide to help in adding measure numbers:
Rehearsal number = Measure number: 1=9; 2=17; 3=25 (Tutti); 4=32 (key change); 5=42; 6=47 (key change); 7=55; 8=63; 9=75; 10=79; total number of measures=85.

See also: Topolewski in Resources, below.

Program Notes

Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral is appropriate for performance by school and college ensembles. While technical difficulties are minimal, many younger performers may struggle with the maintenance of tone quality throughout the expansive Wagnerian melodies. This piece is one seamless musical gesture, and performers have the responsibility to shape flowing melodies and countermelodies while retaining proper ensemble balance. Additionally, players require patience and restraint when allowing the music to build logically and cohesively to its magnificent climax. With a seasoned ensemble, this work can be an exciting concert finale.

- Notes from Great Music for Wind Band

Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral, with its medieval color and pageantry, prefaces her betrothal to Lohengrin, mystic Knight of the Holy Grail, who comes to deliver the people of Brabant (Antwerp) from the Hungarian invaders.

In the operatic presentation, a large double chorus (representing the people of Antwerp) adds its song of solemn praise to that of the orchestra. It is in this music, mystic yet powerful, that we find Wagner striking out with those new and intense musical thoughts that were to culminate in Tristan, The Ring, and Parsifal. Not quite emancipated from the musical speech of his operatic contemporaries, one finds in the Lohengrin score those unmistakable flights into musico-dramatic magnificence transcending all that preceded it in idiom and musical adventure.

In this transcription of Elsa’s Procession for symphony band, Lucien Cailliet, with his great talent for instrumentation, has succeeded in building into the instrumental framework of the modern band a true and delicate representation of all that Wagner so eloquently describes with orchestra and chorus.

In the present score, the instrumental solo voices of the original score are paralleled, the choral voices deftly absorbed in the rich instrumental texture and all the luxuriant Wagnerian color re-created in terms of the instrumentation for the band.

- Program Note from score

Lucien Cailliet’s transcription of Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral has been a treasured icon in the wind band repertoire since its introduction in 1938. It is a wedding procession from Richard Wagner’s tragic opera Lohengin, where Elsa, duch*ess of Brabant, is about to marry her knight in shining armor, Lohengrin, Keeper of the Holy Grail, who has appeared in a boat, magically drawn by a swan. However, keeping Lohengrin’s identity a secret -- to Elsa and to everyone in the country -- has been a condition upon which the marriage was contingent. Shortly after the marriage, Elsa succumbs to her curiosity, sown by the antagonist duo: Ortrud, a sorceress who put a spell on Elsa’s brother Gottfried, but accused Elsa of his murder; and Teiramund, the knight defeated by Lohengrin who has accused him of sorcery. Lohengrin reveals his identity to all, kills his accuser, and then bids eternal farewell to Elsa. As Lohengrin disappears, his swan magically turns into Lohengrin’s friend and Elsa’s brother, Gottfried. Elsa, falls, lifelessly into Gottfried’s arms.

- Program Note by the Vista Ridge High School Wind Ensemble

Transcriber Lucien Cailliet was a clarinetist in the Philadelphia Orchestra for many years and also served as associate conductor of The Allentown Band in Pennsylvania. This ensemble, with whom Cailliet frequently tested his transcriptions, is the oldest civilian concert band in the nation and has a proud historyof talented musicians gracing its roster. His imaginative transcription of this bridal procession from Lohengrin, which dates from 1938, seamlessly combines the chorus and the orchestra into a setting that has proved to be one of Cailliet’s most successful and popular adaptions for band.

- Program Note from U.S. Marine Band concert program, 17 August 2016


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Arkansas: V
  • California: V-A
  • Florida: V
  • Georgia: VI
  • Iowa: V
  • Louisiana: V
  • Maryland: V
  • Massachusetts: V
  • Michigan: AA
  • Minnesota: Category 1
  • Mississippi: IV-A, V-A, VI-A
  • New York: VI
  • North Carolina: VI
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Tennessee: V
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: V
  • Wisconsin: Event 3000 Concert Band.Class A Std Rep


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • West Valley High School (Yakima, Wash.) Wind Ensemble (Kirk Knight, conductor) - 30 May 2024
  • University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Wind Ensemble (Martin I. Gaines, conductor) - 28 April 2024
  • Oklahoma City University Wind Ensemble (Matthew Mailman, conductor) - 9 April 2024
  • Lone Star High School (Frisco, Tx.) Wind Symphony (Mark Poole, conductor) – 9 February 2024 (2024 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • University of Hawai'i - West O'ahu Concert Band (Michael Nakasone, conductor) - 26 November 2023
  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Jason K. Fettig, conductor) - National Tour 2023
  • Elkhart (Ind.) Municipal Band (David Swihart, conductor) - 16 April 2023
  • The Naperville (Ill.) Winds (Sean Kelley, conductor) - 6 April 2023
  • Temple University (Philadelphia, Penn.) Wind Symphony (Patricia Cornett, conductor) - 15 February 2023
  • Baylor University (Waco, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (J. Eric Wilson, conductor - 22 December 2022 (2022 Midwest Clinic)
  • Baylor University (Waco) Wind Ensemble (Eric Wilson, conductor) - 17 November 2022
  • Matthew Flinders Anglican College (Sunshine Coast, Qld., Aus.) Wind Symphony (John Thomas, conductor) - 27 October 2022
  • Ohio University (Athens) Wind Symphony (Max Van Dyne, conductor) - 4 April 2022
  • Kyoto (Japan) Tachibana High School Band (Kazumi Itani, conductor) - 27 March 2022
  • Tyler (Tx.) Junior College Wind Ensemble (Eddie W. Airheart, conductor) - 18 November 2021
  • Eastern Illinois University (Charleston) Wind Symphony (Alicia Neal, conductor) - 4 May 2021
  • Bemidji (Minn.) State University Wind Ensemble (Scott Guidry, conductor) - 18 April 2021
  • Messiah University (Mechanicsburg, Penn.) Wind Ensemble (James Colonna, conductor) - 26 February 2021
  • Bishop Carroll High School (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) Wind Ensemble (Chris Herard, conductor) – 22 February 2020
  • Penn State University (University Park) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Dennis Glocke, conductor) – 18 February 2020 (Carnegie Hall, New York)
  • University of Oregon (Eugene) Wind Ensemble (Dennis Llanás, conductor) – 12 February 2020
  • Eastman Wind Ensemble (Rochester, N.Y.) (A. Clyde Roller, conductor) - 8 February 2002 *Eastman Wind Ensemble 50th Anniversary Concert*
  • Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Concert Band (Lucien Cailliet, conductor) – 2 March 1958

Works for Winds by This Composer

  • Awake (arr. Houseknecht) (1868/1957)
  • Chor der Junger from "Das Liebesmahl der Apostel" (arr. Pohler)
  • Die Meistersinger (arr. Milford) (1868/1998)
  • Die Meistersinger, Excerpts from the Opera (arr. Osterling)
  • Die Meistersinger Overture (tr. Hindsley) (1868/197-?)
  • Die Meistersinger, Prelude (arr. Moses-Tobani/H.R. Kent) (1904/1948)
  • Die Meistersinger Themes (arr. Daehn) (1868/2009)
  • Die Meistersinger von Nurnbürg (tr. Hindsley) (1868/196-?)
  • Die Walkure, Act 2, Scene 4 (arr. King)
  • Elsa's feierlicher Zug zum Münster (tr. Nefs) (1848/2017)
  • Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral (tr. Bourgeois) (1848/1997)
  • Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral (tr. Cailliet) (1848/1938)
  • Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral (arr. Cherry) (1848/1999/2019)
  • Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral (arr. Goldhammer). See: Elsas Zug zum Münster
  • Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral (tr. Nefs). See: Elsa's feierlicher Zug zum Münster
  • Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral (tr. Patterson). See: Procession to the Cathedral (tr. Patterson)
  • Elsas Zug zum Münster (arr. Goldhammer) (1849/2010)
  • Enchantement du vendredi saint (arr. Cayrol). See: Parsifal: Enchantement du vendredi saint
  • Entry of the Gods into Valhalla (arr. Godfrey) (1869/1906)
  • Entry of the Gods into Valhalla (arr. O'Neill) (1869/1930)
  • Evening Star (arr. Barnard) (1845/1927)
  • Festmusik (arr. Seifert-Kressbronn) (1843-1982)
  • Fest Marsch from "Tannhäuser" (tr. Rumbelow) (1845/1997)
  • The Flying Dutchman (tr. Hindsley) (1843/197-?)
  • The Flying Dutchman Overture (arr. Godfrey) (1843/1955)
  • Funeral Music from "The Dusk of the Gods" (arr. Godfrey) (1876/1919)
  • Gathering of the Armies (arr. Friedman) (1850/1995)
  • Homage March (ed. Bourgeois)
  • Huldigungsmarsch (arr. Goldhammer) (1864/2009)
  • Huldigungsmarsch (ed. Reed) (1864/2002)
  • Huldigungsmarsch (ed. Schaefer) (1864/1971)
  • Huldigungsmarsch (ed. Whitwell) (1864/2015)
  • Invocation of Alberich (arr. Cailliet) (1869/1940)
  • Italian Polka (arr. Leidzen) (1941)
  • Kaisermarsch (tr. Godfrey) (1871/1912)
  • King Heinrich’s Call (tr. Bourgeois) (1850/1983)
  • Liebestod (arr. Shishikura) (1856/2014)
  • Liebestod (arr. Bainum) (1856/1964)
  • Lohengrin (arr. Patterson) (1850/2016)
  • Lohengrin (arr. Tamanini) (1850/2005)
  • Lohengrin: Introduction to Act III (arr. Drumm) (1850/1937)
  • March from "Tannhäuser" (arr. Lake) (1926)
  • March on, America
  • Nibelungen March (arr. Stretton) (c.1874/1909)
  • Overture to Rienzi (arr. Grabel) (1842/1933)
  • Parsifal: Enchantement du vendredi saint (arr. Cayrol) (1857-82/2010)
  • Pilgrim's Chorus (arr. Geese) (1845/2009)
  • Pilgrim's Chorus (arr. Musser) (1845/)
  • Pilgrim's Chorus (arr. Musser; ed. Rapp) (1845/2009)
  • Pilgrim's Chorus (arr. Reed) (1845/1991)
  • Prelude to Act I of "Die Meistersinger" (trans. Kreines) (1862/2012)
  • Prelude to Act III, Dance and Finale from "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg" (arr. Thompson) (1868/1985)
  • Prelude to Act III from "Lohengren" (tr. Hindsley) (1850)
  • Prelude to Act III from "Lohengrin" (tr. Brand) (1850/2001)
  • Prelude to Act III from "Lohengrin" (arr. McAlister and Reed) (1850/2006)
  • Prelude to Parsifal (tr. Bourgeois) (1882/2016)
  • Procession of the Knights of the Holy Grail from "Parsifal" (arr. Houseknecht) (1964)
  • Procession to the Cathedral (tr. Patterson) (1846-48/1997)
  • Ride of the Valkyries (arr. Hernandez) (1870/)
  • Ride of the Valkyries (arr. Laurendeau) (1870/1908)
  • Ride of the Valkyries (tr. Longwood) (1870/2000)
  • Ride of the Valkyries (tr. Patterson) (1870/)
  • Rienzi Overture (arr. Meyrelles) (1842/1892)
  • The Ring (arr. Higgins) (1848-1874/2020)
  • Sei uns gegrüßt (arr. Goldhammer) (1844/2013)
  • Seigfried Fantasie (arr. Seidel) (1876/1893)
  • Selections from Act III of "Die Meistersinger von Nurnbürg" (arr. Hanna) (1868/2015)
  • Siegfried Idyll (1870)
  • Siegfried's Funeral March (tr. Tanick) (1876/)
  • Siegfried's Funeral March from "Gotterdammerung" (tr. Bourgeois)
  • Siegfried's Funeral Music (arr. Whear) (1876/1966)
  • Tannhäuser (arr. Lake) (1845/1926)
  • Tannhäuser Grand March (tr. McAlister) (1845/2005)
  • Tannhäuser March (arr. E. Fall) (1845)
  • Tannhäuser Overture (arr. Fall) (1845/1936)
  • Tannhäuser Overture (tr. Safranek) (1845/1913)
  • Tannhäuser Overture (arr. Sousa) (1845/)
  • Tannhäuser Overture (arr. Winterbottom) (1845/1903)
  • Tannhäuser Selection (arr. Lake) (1926)
  • Trauersinfonie (ed. Votta/Boyd) (1844/1924/1994)
  • Trauersinfonie (tr. Leidzen) (1844/1924/1949)
  • Tristan und Isolde (tr. Janssen) (1862/2015)
  • Vorspiel und Liebestod (arr. Godfrey) (1865/1909)
  • Wotan's Farewell and Magic Fire Music from "Die Walküre" (arr. Lake) (1874/1937)


Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral (tr Cailliet) (2024)
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