Fourth Movement: March to the Scaffold (Marche au Supplice) from Berlioz's Fantastic Symphony. Convinced that his love is spurned, the artist poisons himself with opium. The dose of narcotic, while too weak to cause his death, plunges him into a heavy sleep accompanied by the strangest of visions. He dreams that he has killed his beloved, that he is condemned, led to the scaffold and is witnessing his own execution. The procession advances to the sound of a march that is sometimes sombre and wild, and sometimes brilliant and solemn, in which a dull sound of heavy footsteps follows without transition the loudest outbursts. At the end of the march, the first four bars of the idea fixe reappear like a final thought of love interrupted by the fatal blow.
Play Along for Clarinet in C
Audition excerpts | Clarinet Probespiel