Celebrate Bastille Day With These Titles From French Composers

France has a rich musical tradition and Tempo Press has several arrangements of works by French composers to perform with your school orchestra. 

Full Orchestra

Barcarolle from Tales of Hoffmann

This famous excerpt requires style and balance in order to make this piece come to life!

 

Danse Bacchanale from Samson et Dalila

Samson et Dalila is one of the 19th Century’s opera blockbusters. Some shifting is required in the first violin, cello and bass parts and the cello parts involve moving quickly between forward and backwards extensions, due to the minor key. The viola part involves optional shifting for the beautiful theme of the slow section.

String Orchestra

Aubade from Le Cid

Le Cid is a typical French Grand Opera on an exciting historical subject with lots of Spanish-flavored music. The beautiful Aubade, a morning love song, uses pizzicato to evoke the sound of Spanish guitars. This piece remains entirely in first position with the exception of the final note in the first violin part.

Barcarolle from Tales of Hoffmann

The lovely Barcarolle evokes the feeling of being poled on a small boat, or barca on the canals of Venice. This intermediate arrangement for string orchestra can be played entirely in first position, though shifting will make some of the passages easier to play and more musical. This piece provides the perfect opportunity to highlight your harpist. The harp parts is integral to the piece, but can be played on a keyboard instrument if necessary.

The Bells of St. Genevieve

This arrangement invites players to explore styles and techniques reminiscent of 16th century Baroque music.

Danse Bacchanale from Samson et Dalila

Samson et Dalila is one of the 19th Century’s opera blockbusters. This intermediate arrangement of the famous Danse Bacchanale utilizes considerable divisi writing to recreate the texture of the original full orchestra setting. Some shifting is required in the first violin, cello and bass parts and the cello parts involve moving quickly between forward and backwards extensions, due to the minor key. The viola part involves optional shifting for the beautiful theme of the slow section. With its exciting tempos and familiars melodies, this title is the perfect closer for your concert program.

España

Chabrier’s romantic interpretation of traditional Spanish music has been arranged for string orchestra. Features castanets and harp or piano.

Footsteps in the Snow from Preludes No. 1

Written in a minor, this arrangement of the piano solo places importance on intonation and phrasing.

 

La Poule (The Hen)

Les Nouvelles Suites de Pièces de Clavecin first appeared in 1726 or 1727. La Poule is part of a suite for harpsichord and is surprisingly symphonic in scope. The simple clucking theme is developed extensively. This delightful character piece is brief but challenging. The opening theme (clucking) should be performed as ‘like a hen pecking for bugs on the ground”. Later, it appears that even the roosters (somewhat deeper tessitura) get engaged.

Lyric Shades from L'Apothéose de Lully

Originally written as a chamber work in homage to Jean-Baptiste Lully, this piece also addresses the competing French and Italian tastes of the 17th century, employing Lully and Corelli as icons of each tradition.

March and Procession of Bacchus

Traditional and regal, this piece features strong marcato style and will leave a lasting impression on both players and audience members alike!

Marche de Triomphe

Marche de Triomphe is one of almost eight hundred compositions by the French Baroque composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier. Composed in 1691, the march represents both the French and Italian styles of the period. Timpani and piano are optional for this arrangement, but both will add to an authentic sound. It can be played entirely in first position.

Minstrels from Preludes Book 1, No. 12

Famous as a work for solo piano and as the soundtrack for a video game about a mischievous goose, this title has been expertly arranged for string orchestra by Robert Longfield.

Orpheus In The Underworld Finale

This very easy arrangement can be played either as a string orchestra work or as a cast-of-thousands finale with the addition of optional beginner string parts and a full percussion section. Moreover, since no cuts have been made or harmonies changed, this finale can be grafted on to a performance of the original overture for full symphony orchestra, enabling you to combine every level of string player with a high school, community or professional orchestra.

Panis Angelicus

This grade 2 work is a fresh and exciting arrangement for strings. This instantly recognizable melody is sure to be a hit!

The Shepherds' Farewell from L'Enfance du Christ

This popular selection from L’Enfance du Christ is frequently performed around the holidays, but is suitable for any time of year.

Symphony No. 1 in C - Allegro Vivace

The Allegro Vivace from Bizet’s Symphony No. 1 in C is a lively display of youthful genius. This delightful arrangement celebrates Bizet’s genius and connects young performers with music from the standard repertoire. There is some third position for the first violins with alternate fingerings, allowing more advanced students to challenge themselves with second position.

 

Symphony XI No. 2

The first of three movements from Symphony XI No. 2. Originally written for horn, oboe, violins, viola, and basso continuo, this arrangement maintains the vitality and classical style of the original.

Solo & Ensemble

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Spotlight: Meaghan Clayton

Meaghan Clayton graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina with a degree in Music Education. While at Meredith, Ms. Clayton studied cello with Ms.

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