Sinfonía de Valencia

Medium: Concert Band/ Wind Ensemble

Sinfonía de Valencia is a symphony for concert band. The first movement Los Castillos (The Castles) is a programatic depiction of the medieval period of Spain with all of the activity around the castles at that time. The fortissimo opening of percussion announce the first picture of the castle, like the structures that have stood for almost a thousand years. The water gong over the long pedal represents the mystery of the dark ages. The dark aspect permeates the entire movement, since the dark and middle ages bring to mind battles, heroism, pain, hunger, thievery, torture and execution. The solo trumpet presents the main “Castle Theme” – a medieval bugler’s Reveille announcing the start of a new day and the mystery of what this day might bring. The theme is transformed throughout the movement. The second movement, La Tomatina, is much more light-hearted as it depicts the world’s biggest and most famous annual tomato fight. Every year on the last Wednesday of August over one hundred tons of tomatoes are brought in by large trucks and dropped on the narrow main street of Buñol. Thousands of people are crammed shoulder-to-shoulder dressed completely in white as they throw tomatoes in every direction and are splattered everywhere. Sometimes the tomato throwing is so frenzied that one can see a cloud of red above all participants. The motivic element depicts the splattering tomatoes with extensive use of syncopation and polyrhythms. The third movement Pastoral y Las Montañas (The Meadow and the Mountains) depicts the Valencian landscape in two distinct sections. The beginning features clarinet and saxophone choirs. The main melody is presented in the Fluglehorn, one of the most popular solo instruments of the Spanish concert bands. There is a transition to the Los Montañas section aside were climbing up to the top of a mountain. The mountains of Valencia are not extremely tall, but they are impressive in comparison to the lowlands. Like the solid castle structures portrayed in the first movement, these mountains have been a symbol of Valencia for centuries. Since they are difficult to climb, a sense of pride and accomplishment would follow the ascent to the top. The march-like theme of this movement suggests this. A short dramatic statement of a Valencian hymn is stated before the final statement. It is scored for Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, English Horn (optional), 2 Bassoons, Contra Bassoon (optional), Eb Clarinet (optional), Principal Clarinet, 3 Clarinets, Alto Clarinet (optional), Bass Clarinet, Contrabass Clarinet (optional), 2 Alto Saxophones, 2 Tenor Saxophones, Baritone Saxophone, Bass Saxophone (optional), 4 Trumpets in Bb, 4 Horns in F, 3Trombones, 2 Flugelhorns (optional), Euphoniums, Tuba, Cello (optional), Double Bass (optional), Timpani, Percussion (4 players) – Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Suspended Cymbal, Bongos, Vibraslap, Crash Cymbals, Metal Wind Chimes, Wood Blocks, Temple Blocks, Orchestra Bells, Vibraphone, Xylophone).


16-Aug-97 by Banda C. I. M. La Armonica

Commissioned by

Banda C. I. M. La Armonica


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