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Flashcards in Performing Forces And Their Handling Deck (37):

What is the range of ‘Sinfonia’?

In general, all the music lies comfortably within the standard ranges of the instruments. Though the solo cello port is occasionally quite high (top A, bar 6)


‘Gavotta’ uses solo instruments throughout, all only from which section of the orchestra?

Wind instruments (the whole wind section from the sinfonia with the addition of two flutes)


What is the first bassoon part like in ‘Gavotta’?

It has a relatively virtuosic part, starting on top A and having some very un 18th century glissandi (615-17) A glissando is obtained by sliding rapidly from one note to another.


What does the first variation of the ‘Gavotta’ start with?

The unusual timbre of an oboe accompanied by a horn.


Stranger than even the opening’s oboe-horn combination, what is the instrumentation at the double bar of Gavotta, variation I?

A trumpet and a trombone are called on to join in the accompaniment. These two instruments tend traditionally to be reserved for loud orchestral climaxes or, in the case of the trumpet solos, melodies.


Which variation of Gavotta is more technically demanding, especially for the solo flute and 1st bassoon?

Variation II


Which is the only one of these three extracts from Pulcinella Suite to use the full orchestra?



Though ‘Vivo’ uses the full orchestra, a full tutti is only heard on two very brief occasions. When and why?

To give a sudden sense of surprise, emphasised by the loud dynamics (bars 33 and 37)


What is a surprise in the ‘Vivo’

That the movement ends with a very small group of players (just trombone, cello and basses)


What does the light-hearted style of the music and use of solo trombone and double bass give the impression of?

A circus piece.


What is one of the most distinctive characteristics of ‘Vivo’?

The use of glissando in the trombone and double bass parts.


What is ‘modern’ about the double bass part in ‘Vivo’?

It is sometimes unnaturally high (bars 24-25)


What does the indication ‘du talon’ in the lower strings in bar 12 of ‘Vivo’ mean?

That the music should be played at the heel of the bow. This gives added ‘bite’ to the sound.


How are two of the DSCH motif’s three homophonic statements partly highlighted by Shostakovich’s writing?

They rise to ‘mf’ (bars 23 and 82) and the first of these briefly touches the only forte in the movement.


The original eighteenth-century pieces Stravinsky used for ‘Pulcinella Suite: Sinfonia, Gavotta and Vivo’ had a maximum of four players. How many did he write the suite for?

A chamber orchestra of 32 players.


Though Stravinsky wrote for a chamber orchestra roughly equivalent to the type of orchestra Haydn might have used in the late eighteenth century, there are, however, a number of features that eighteenth century composers would not have made use of in a piece of this type. What are these?

A solo trombone in the ‘Vivo’ would not have been used in an 18th century piece. Stravinsky also adds many articulations like slurs and staccatos, as well as frequent bowing marks.


A separate sole string group was a feature of many Baroque pieces in Concerto Grosso style (eg the concertos of torelli) but torelli would have used two violins and a ‘cello, together with harpsichord or organ continuo. What, instead, does Stravinsky use in ‘Pulcinella Suite Sinfonia, Gavotta and Vivo?

He uses five solo string players instead and there is no keyboard part.


The double bass part in 18th century music was usually virtually the same as the cello parts. In Stravinsky’s piece, however, what are the double bass parts like?

The two double bass parts are often very different from the cello music, especially in ‘Vivo’ where the double bass has a virtuoso solo part.


In ‘Sinfonia’ what kind of woodwind does Stravinsky utilise?

Standard double woodwind but no clarinets.


There are a number of tutti orchestral sections, during which the solo quintet doubles the orchestral strings, in ‘Sinfonia’. Give an example of this.

The first 4 bars.


Occasionally in ‘Sinfonia’ Stravinsky leaves out a bass line entirely. Give an example of this.

Bars 29 - 30


In ‘Sinfonia’ there are a number of solo passages for wind, either accompanied by strings or on their own. Give an example of both.

with strings (b7-9)
on their own (b33-34)


Which string technique does Stravinsky employ in ‘Sinfonia’?

Double stopping (non divisi) eg violin II b53-34


What is a distinctive feature of the violin II music in 'Sinfonia'?

Consecutive down bows.


In ‘Harold in Italy’ Movement III, Berlioz uses and unusual combination of instruments from the Romantic era symphony orchestra such as piccolo, cor anglais, harp and four horns. What however, does he not use?

Trumpets, cornets, trombones and percussion.


In ‘Harold in Italy’: Movement III Berlioz has the horns in different keys to allow both transposition and chromatic chords. Give an example of this.

The diminished chord at bar 103 : first and second horn in C, third in F, fourth in E.


How does the cor anglais transpose to sound in ‘Harold in Italy’ Movement III?

Down a perfect 5th.


How is the piccolo played vs how it is written?

It sounds an octave higher than written.


Why are the violas divided at the beginning of ‘Harold in Italy’ Movement III?

To enable the lower part to play open string chords with the upper part playing melodic material.


In ‘Harold in Italy’ Movement III what do piccolo and oboe represent at the beginning?

Pifferi (rustic oboes) which can still be heard in Italian folk bands today.


What do the strings do at b53 of ‘Harold in Italy’; Movement III?

Return to arco


At the Allegretto of ‘Harold in Italy’: Movement III, what do the violins do, and why?

The first violins and cellos play pizzicato with double stopping in the second violins. This simulates the sound of plucked ‘guitar-style’ instrumental accompaniment.


n ‘Harold in Italy’: Movement III, where does the clarinet use the (low) chalumeaux register?

BAR 48


What is different about the strings in the final section of ‘Harold in Italy’: Movement III?

they play


In the final section of ‘Harold in Italy’: Movement III, what does the harp do?

It plays harmonics


When does the solo viola first come in, and what does it first play in ‘Harold in Italy’?

It doesn’t play until bar b5 when it plays the ide fixe in longer note values.


What is the difficulty of the viola part in ‘Harold in Italy’: Movement III?

Overall, the technical demands of the viola part are relatively simple, the octave passages from b99 being the most demanding feature.