Ancient Airs and Dances-Suite 1:Balletto(Mixed WW Ensemble)
Eighth Note Publications
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Respighi had a fascination with the music of the distant past, both from Italy and elsewhere.  His orchestral elaborations of early repertoire are among his most frequently heard works today, including his three suites Ancient Airs and Dances which are essentially symphonice transcriptions of sixteenth and seventeenth century lute pieces.  This movement from the first suite is actually titled as Balletto detto "Il conte Orlando" after Simone Molinari.  Molinari (1570-1633) composed numerous collections of sacred and secular vocal works, and as a music publisher, brought out an important edition of Don Carlo Gesualdo's five-voice madrigals in 1603.  Molinaro's Intavolatura di liuto libro primo is one o the most notable lute collections of its time.  It is in that collection that this piece appears as a triple-time dance.  Respighi alters it to duple meter, and in the middle provides contrast by transposing the melody into the minor mode, where the solo line is played dolce before the material is  revisited in its orignal form by the full ensemble.  The interchangeable ensemble parts are:  part 1 flute, oboe, clarinet; part 2 flute, oboe, clarinet; part 3 clarinet, alto saxophone, horn in F; part 4 clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone; part 5 bass clarinet, bassoon, baritone saxophone.