• details

    • Order numbers: AM 144 - 010 HL 4004915
    • Instrumentation: Alto Saxophone, Wind Orchestra & Circus Band
    • Duration: 23'
    • Grade: 5
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FELLINI (for alto sax, wind orchestra & circus band)

Omaggio a Federico Fellini
Johan de Meij

Click HERE to listen & watch the score with SCOREPLAY.

Fellini (Omaggio a Federico Fellini)
FELLINI takes the listener into the surrealistic and dreamy world of the legendary Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini (1920-1993). His early influences were - in his own words - "Cinema, Circus, Sex & Spaghetti". These themes form the theatrical tetralogy in which the alto saxophone serves as the personification of a circus clown. He does not take the traditional position next to the conductor, but moves gracefully across the stage from a make-up table to a sofa bed, and makes side trips to the circus band - somewhere in the lobby of the theatre, independent from the orchestra on stage. Adding this offstage circus band – which seems to come from a parallel universe - enhances the unreal, circus-like atmosphere, like in many of Fellini's films.

FELLINI was commissioned by Musikgesellschaft Vispe from Visp - Switzerland, and supported by the Fellini Foundation from Sion - Switzerland. The world premiere took place on November 14th and 15th, 2015 in La Poste in Visp, performed by Musikgesellschaft Vispe conducted by Johan de Meij, with Hans de Jong as the soloist on alto saxophone, for whom the piece was written. I am very grateful to Daniel Schmidt, conductor Jean-Marc Barras, all musicians of Musikgesellschaft Vispe and the Fellini Foundation for making this dream come true with their generous support.

Performance Notes

* The circus band should be invisible for the audience, and should sound from far away, i.e. from the lobby of the theatre, or a room behind the stage. There are only two places in the score where the orchestra and circus band are playing together, from measure 203 and from measure 576.

* The soloist plays the musical role of the clown. It is certainly not intended to be funny or comical, but melancholy and poignant. Clothing: No brightly colored clown costume and silly shoes. A plastic red nose alone will suffice.

* The solo part should preferably be memorized. The passage measures 332-501 can be read from a stand next to the conductor.

* In the opening section, our soloist sits behind the make-up table, (stage left) looking motionless in the mirror. Around m. 65, he/she takes up the instrument and starts playing (m. 67), with only the left hand. With his right hand he/she begins to apply makeup, but in an absentminded, slow motion way.

* The cadenza at m. 103 is free; soloist plays snatches of the themes to come.

* Around m. 123 the circus band starts to play. The soloist looks up surprised, puts on a red nose and starts walking toward them.

* The trio of the march he plays with them (m. 44-80 in the score of the circus band), and at m. 213 he is back on stage.

* Around m. 271 the soloist gradually starts to slow down, while the orchestra and circus band continue to play in the previous tempo. The soloist walks towards the sofa (stage right) and ends the cadenza (m. 284-292) reclining on the sofa. The sound of the circus band’s footsteps slowly dies out.

* From the sofa, the soloist plays the main theme (m. 294), slowly rises and walks towards the saxophones. Then he strolls toward the clarinet section, and returns to the solo position next to the conductor at around m. 330.

* From m. 501 on, the soloist walks towards the sofa, and then collapses on it, exhausted. He looks surprised at the beginning of the Gallop (m. 520) and returns to the solo position next to the conductor.

* In m. 560 the soloist leaves the stage again - possibly on a unicycle, a tricycle or a cargo bike with a driver - and plays the measures 592-656 with the circus band.

* From m. 676 he’s back on stage, and around m. 962 he walks back towards the make-up table.

* At m. 726 he starts to remove the make-up, at m. 742 he gets up and plays with the orchestra. At m. 755, after the last slap-tongue, he takes off the red nose and makes a deep bow, before the final note with the orchestra.