The gently humorous Funeral March of a Marionette
, by Charles-François Gounod, one of France’s greatest and most prolific composers of the nineteenth century, has enjoyed an ongoing popularity ever since it was first created as a piano solo in 1872. Gounod orchestrated the piece in 1879, and it is on this orchestral version that my present arrangement is based. The work’s association with the bassoon goes back a long way – I have an old recording of the piece played as a bassoon solo, dating from around the time of the First World War. However, the piece achieved widespread fame as the Alfred Hitchcock signature tune in the 1950s, an appropriate choice given the nature of the music with its dark humour.
from notes by Laurence Perkins © 2004