Year: 2021 | Grade: 2-3


Concert Band


With its height of 4,808 meters, Mont-Blanc is called “the roof of Europe”. The highest mountains on our planet have been insurmountable for a long time. Only in the past 250 years have those giants been mounted. Crystal-hunter Jacques Balmat and Michel-Gabriel Paccard, a doctor, were the first to climb Mont-Blanc, in 1786. Many paths lead to Mont-Blanc’s peak: the regular ascent goes through the magnificent “voie royale of Saint-Gervais- les- Bains”, which was opened in August 1855 by the Englishmen Hudson, Kennedy, and Smythe. Today’s most common route to climb up, starting from Saint-Gervais via Aiguille du Goûter (3,863m), Dôme du Goûter (4,304m), and Arête des Bosses (4,547m), was first used in 1861. Otto M. Schwarz composed this work inspired by “the roof of Europe” with its luminous and huge glaciers. Early in the morning, mountain-climbers set off to the peak; they witness the sunrise, and experience the hazards that the journey up to the summit brings along. A snowstorm and falling rocks at Arête des Bosses aggravate their journey. A sudden change of weather, however, enables them to reach the top after a strenuous ascent. This piece invites you to an imaginary journey from Saint-Gervais-les-Bains via the “voie royale” to the top of Mont-Blanc.