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Ballet Music from the Perfect Fool

Ballet Music from the Perfect Fool

Holst, Gustav

Arr. Allen, Michael


  • Ensemble: Brass Ensemble
  • Genre: Classical
  • Grade: 5
  • Duration: 11.5 minutes
  • Catalog Number: BB-BE210506

Holst's comic opera, The Perfect Fool (completed in 1922) begins with the ballet music featured here which is danced by Spirits of Earth, Water and Fire. A wizard summons the Earth Spirits with an invocation that rises in energetic fury and descends with ponderous deliberation. From the lowest depths of the ensemble, the tubas and timpani conjure up an appropriate earthiness. When the clumsy, clod-hopping dance has reached its climax the Earth Spirits scurry underground, leaving a solo trombone to call up the Spirits of the Water with the calm notes of a legato version of the invocation. This leads to the second dance, where the Spirits of the Water bring 'the essence of love distilled from Aether'. With the abrupt arrival of the Spirits of Fire the third dance crackles into a sudden spurt of conflagration. The blaze approaches inch by inch, the staccato notes sounding as brittle as burning stubble.

Includes music from Invocation, Dance of Spirits of Earth, Dance of Spirits of Water, Dance of Spirits of Fire

Instrumentation - 444.12 tmp & 3 prc:

  • Trumpet 1 in E♭
  • Piccolo Trumpet 2 in B♭
  • Trumpet 3 in C
  • Flugelhorn
  • 4 Horns in F
  • 3 Trombones
  • Bass Trombone
  • Euphonium
  • 2 Tubas
  • Timpani
  • Percussion (3 players) - Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Vibraphone, Tambourine, Sleigh Bells, Suspended Cymbal, Bass Drum, Tam Tam

This arrangement is part of our Boulder Brass Signature Series.

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