Charles Gounod

Funeral March of a Marionette, for piano or orchestra in D minor

    Description by Joseph Stevenson

    This small piano piece is a light-hearted piece of musical grotesquerie, a mock funeral procession with a jaunty beat and a carefree tune over a humorously not-slow-enough funeral march rhythm. Gounod himself, recognizing its popularity, set it for orchestra in 1879. Other composers have arranged it for various combinations, and the piece gained international fame beginning in the 1950s when it was selected as the sardonic theme music introducing appearances by film director Alfred Hitchcock at the beginnings and ends of his television anthology series on suspense and the grotesque, Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Gounod's dead marionette is now as unseverably linked in most people's minds with the portly British filmmaker as Rossini's William Tell Overture has been with the Lone Ranger.

    The piece has a little program: the marionette has died in a duel, and the funeral procession enters. A contrasting central section depicts the "mourners" stopping off for refreshments at an inn on the funeral route. At the end, though, Gounod lets a little more solemnity show.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2016 ABC Classics 4814236
    2015 Aparte AP 107
    2015 K-Tel 136446
    2015 Gothic Records G 49294
    2014 Hyperion CDH 55477
    2013 Mark Custom Recording 50436MCD
    2013 ABC Classics ABC 4810545
    2012 Atoll ACD 600
    2012 ABC Classics 344630
    2012 Alto 1187
    2011 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    2011 DG Deutsche Grammophon 001594802
    2011 Exton OVCL 00176
    2008 Madacy 52947
    2008 Madacy 52946
    2008 Centaur Records 2906
    2008 Naxos 8503204
    2008 Panda Classics 578011-12
    2007 Sony Classical Essential Classics 88697074362
    2007 Kado Records 20054
    2007 Raven 920
    2007 Vanguard Classics 6706
    2006 Rounder Select / Rounder 618125
    2006 Centaur Records 2748
    2006 Naxos 8557545
    2006 Symposium 1351
    2004 Reader's Digest Music 4048
    2004 Hyperion CDA67453
    2003 American Gramaphone Records 1031
    2001 Disney 860691
    2001 Musica Viva 1019
    2000 Decca 466241
    2000 Giffitz 2176
    2000 Musica Viva 1019
    1999 Madacy 8422
    1999 Decca 4367972
    1999 Decca 4367972
    1999 Chandos CHAN9765
    1998 Platinum Disc / Platinum Entertainment 1068
    1998 Hyperion CDA66998
    1997 Sony Classical Essential Classics / Sony Music Distribution SBK-63052
    1997 Madacy 7131
    1997 Dutton Laboratories 8008
    1996 Direct-to-Tape 8901
    1996 Nesak International 17008
    1996 Nesak International 10002
    1995 RCA / RCA Victor 68131
    1995 Madacy 7118
    1994 RCA Victor 62698
    1994 Madacy 2340
    1994 Chesky CHESKYCD 57
    1994 Madacy 0500
    1994 Madacy 5429
    1993 Compendia Music Group 0524
    1993 Mercury 434332
    1993 CBC Records 89
    1993 Publishers Clearing House 5093/5095
    1992 RCA 61238
    1992 RCA Victor / RCA 60935
    1991 CBS Records / Sony Music Distribution MLK-45736
    1989 Telarc Distribution 80189
    1989 CBS Records 45530
    Pro-Arte Records 839
    RCA Victor Red Seal 7116
    Echo Bridge Home Entertainment 10682
    RCA 57716
    Naxos 8572116
    Nesak International 17009
    Discover 920156
    DG Deutsche Grammophon 469 238-2GP2
    Pro-Arte Records 267
    Intersound 3516
    Intersound 6216
    Madacy 4558
    Priory Records 338
    Nesak International 17000