Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Allegro con fuoco

It shouldn't be too tough to figure out what work has the following orchestration. Let's just say that some day I'd like to hear it in person with every instrument its composer calls for.  The six to eight harps would be mighty tough to wedge into the pit, I know. For St. Francois, San Francisco Opera built out a couple of platforms on the sides of the theater to house the three Ondes Martenon and the three additional mallet instruments required by that score; such a solution could work here as well.

  • Offstage:
    • 3 oboes
    • 3 trombones
    • Saxhorns: sopranino in B-flat (petit saxhorn suraigu en si♭), sopranos in E-flat (or valve trumpets in E-flat), altos in B-flat (or valve trumpets in B-flat), tenors in E-flat (or horns in E-flat), contrabasses in E-flat (or tubas in E-flat)
    • Percussion: pairs of timpani, several pairs of cymbals, thunder machine (roulement de tonnerre), antique sistrumstarbuka, tam-tam


joXn said...

Scriabin? But if so, you left out the lights and smells.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Ha! Interesting guess, but not Scriabin.

JSC said...

Les Troyens!

Lisa Hirsch said...

But of course!

JoXn, the giveaways are the number of harps and the saxhorn ensemble. I can't imagine there is another significant work that calls for that particular combination.

I am also about to make a small update, as I got distracted or something before I published.