Reflections of Florence
Reflections of Florence is a composition for concert band in four movements, each representing a musical snapshot of the European city. The first and last movements are scored for full ensemble, while the middle two are scored for woodwinds/ percussion and brass/ percussion, respectively.
The first movement depicts the glory of the sunrise over the surrounding Tuscan mountains in an aleatoric musical picture. The harmonic material is based on a synthetic scale derived from the opening pitches of the movement and eventually develops into carefully orchestrated tone clusters. Single pitches pass through the ensemble and create a gradual timbre shift which serves as the directive force for the movement.
The second movement reflects the history of the city and looks back to the Renaissance. Entitled Visin, Visin, Visin (15th century, Song of the Chimney Sweeps), it is based on a popular tune that was sung in the streets during Florence's festival season. The contemporary setting presents musical imagery, such as alternating triplet figures to represent the Arno River; the song is finally heard in its entirety at the end of the movement.
The third movement departs from the strong modal tonality set forth in the preceding movement and focuses again on shifting colors and timbres rather than strict melody. Based on a whole tone scale, the first section uses sweeping motions orchestrated throughout the entire range of the brass ensemble to represent the massive cathedral which dominates the skyline of the city. The second section moves into a distinct tonal center and is minimalistic in style.
The final section of the piece combines aspects from the previous three movements. The music acts as a representation of the festive spirit of Florence and utilizes harmonic and melodic elements that are rooted in gestures from the earlier music. Though alterations in orchestration and context occur, several aleatoric textures return to bring the entire piece to a close.
School:Bowling Green State University
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:reflections florence concert band music composition duomo visin fiesole
Date of Publication:01/01/2008