Publisher: Novello & Co
Fete Galante (1991)
Commissioned by the Royal Tournament
III Bourrée des Masques
Novello & Co Ltd
Works for Band/Wind/Brass Ensemble
Fête Galante was the term used to describe the most popular paintings of Watteau, the French artist of the early eighteenth century.
In his idealised landscapes, figures in fancy dress embark on a voyage to an enchanted island; lovers pass each other in courtly dances and meet again in moonlit masquerades. It is a dream-world, but one suffused with true emotion, a Romantic yearning for an unattainable Arcadia.
This pastoral fantasy inspired me to write a work in three movements based on dance-forms: Pavane has one main extended melody, which recurs several times with increasing elaboration. In contrast, Menuet is a very short linking section played by the principal soloists, resulting in a chamber music texture. The final Bourrée des Masques is a fast march-rondo featuring fanfare motifs, punctuated by syncopated percussion accents.
Fête Galante was commissioned by the Royal Tournament and premiered at the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles International Conference on July 30 1991 at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, conducted by Frank Renton.
Birmingham Symphonic Wind Band