Music with Ease > Classical Music > Concert Guide: Romantic Era > Huldigung's March (Wagner)
"Huldigungs March," or "March of Homage," was written in 1864 for the coronation ceremony of Ludwig II of Bavaria and was at first scored for military band. Subsequently Wagner began its arrangement for orchestra, a work which, owing to interruptions, was finished by Raff. The march begins with an introduction in march time leading to a stately theme in the woodwinds and horns. This is followed by parts of another theme in the violas, cellos, horns, and bass clarinet, with sustained harmonies in the brasses. As the time quickens, the trumpets and trombones give out a march theme with drum rolls. A fortissimo in full orchestra leads to the march proper, which opens with a brilliant theme of festal character in the woodwinds and horns with string accompaniment. After development, the second theme is given out by the trombones, and after fragments of the first theme, it returns with tremendous force in all the brasses fortissimo against rolls of the drums and brilliant runs in the woodwinds. The first theme now returns fortissimo in full orchestra and is further developed, and at last, after a powerful climax, leads to a return of the opening passage in the introduction. A brilliant Coda closes the march.