• details

    • Order numbers: AM 11-010
      Hal Leonard # 4000036
    • Instrumentation: wind orchestra
    • Duration: 8'30
    • Grade: 3
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[opus 5]
Johan de Meij

Aquarium - Johan de Meij

The suite "Aquarium" is Johan de Meij's third composition for symphonic band and features six tropical fishes, each of them represented by a motif, and surfacing as such in several guises. The composition consists of three movements of which the second and third merge uninterruptedly into each other.

I) Allegretto grazioso (Neon Tetra, Electric Eel and Angelfish)

II) Andante / Adagio (Sea Horse and Zebrafish)

III) Finale: Allegro giocoso (Guppy & Co.)

The Neon Tetra motif functions as a kind of 'Leitmotiv' and describes the beautifully coloured, frisky fish. A number of variants have been derived from this theme and will also appear in the other movements. The Electric Eel in fact is not represented by a motif, but by a rhythm based on the restless electric pulses made audible in some aquariums. Elegant cluster chords represent the Angelfish.

In the second movement the Sea Horse emerges out of the water vegetation and starts a dialogue with the Zebrafish, which is represented by one melodic phrase in unison, getting more and more threatening by added parallel fifths and octaves. Simultaneously with the Sea Horse motif the Neon Tetra theme emerges, this time in 3/4 time and in Eb minor.

The third movement starts with only two instruments (trumpet and xylophone), but as it is often the case with Guppies their number rapidly increases. Piccolo and Alto Saxophone introduce the Guppy Theme, followed by several instrumental combinations. Every theme from the first movement 'swims by' once more, after which the principal motif leads us to a brilliant ending.

Aquarium was commissioned by the Dutch Music Foundation « Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst ».