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Bohuslav Martinů: The Frescoes of Piero della Francesca

  • for orchestra
  • 4 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(3), hp, str
  • Duration: 19’
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st flute
    2nd flute
    3rd flute
    1st oboe
    2nd oboe
    3rd oboe (+c.a)
    1st clarinet in Bb
    2nd clarinet in Bb
    3rd clarinet in Bb
    1st bassoon
    2nd bassoon
    3rd bassoon
    1st horn in F
    2nd horn in F
    3rd horn in F
    4th horn in F
    1st trumpet in C
    2nd trumpet in C
    3rd trumpet in C
    1st trombone
    2nd trombone
    3rd trombone
    violin I
    violin II
  • Composer: Bohuslav Martinů
  • Table of contents:
    Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca (für Orchester)
  • Dedication: À Rafael Kubelik
  • Remarks: Frescos by Piero della Francesca in Arezzo

Work introduction

In the 1950s, Bohuslav Martinů was deeply impressed by Piero della Francesca’s cycle of frescoes in 8 scenes, depicting the Legend of the True Cross in the choir of San Francesco in Arezzo. In his orchestral work, Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca (1955, 19 min), he wanted to give voice to the majestic, icy silence, as well as the strange, peaceful poetry of the paintings, and to express the colourful, mysterious atmosphere in music. The world première at the Salzburg Festival in 1956 was conducted by Rafael Kubelík.


The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

Salzburg (AT)
Wiener Philharmoniker
Rafael Kubelik

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