Piccolo, Flute(2), Oboe, Bassoon, Clarinet(4), Alto Saxophone(2), Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Trumpet(3), French Horn(2), Trombone(3), Tuba(2), Contrabass, Timpani, Percussion(2)
Hello all! I've had this idea for quite some time, and I finally finished it. Without further ado, Tarantella Fantastica! These are the program notes I wrote up for it:
The tarantella is a lively Italian folk dance, characterized by an upbeat tempo, 6/8 metre, and the use of tambourines. This piece takes the concept of a tarantella and, over its course, gradually morphs it into the musical equivalent of a Pablo Picasso painting. It begins with a fanfare-like introduction, transitioning into the main theme (stated in the clarinets, then doubled in the saxophones). The main theme develops, making the first of many modulations up the circle of fifths into D minor. The piece then crescendos into the first “variation”, setting the theme in 3/4 against a 6/8 accompaniment. After modulating up into G minor, the clarinets and the saxophones state the first 16 bars of the original theme in retrograde, followed by a harmonically wandering trumpet solo. The brass echoes a melody stated by the clarinets earlier, with the saxophones playing accompaniment- only the second time around, the roles of the accompaniment are reversed. This segues into another “variation”- a bold, lurching tarantella in which traditional orchestration roles are reversed, with the “traditionally melody” instruments playing the onbeats and the tuba and low instruments playing the offbeats. The trumpets then state the melody accompanied by atonal splats of sound, and after that split off and harmonize in minor seconds on either side. The horns briefly rip the general shape of the melody without the correct notes, and the piece concludes with a colorful reharmonization of the melody in the full band. The only constant throughout the entire piece is the tambourine- the hallmark of a tarantella.
Not gonna lie, this didn't turn out quite how I wanted it to, but I like it anyways. Listen, comment, and enjoy!