Ballet Music from the Perfect Fool
Holst's comic opera, The Perfect Fool (completed in 1922) begins with the ballet music featured here which is danced by Spirits of Earth, Water and Fire. A wizard summons the Earth Spirits with an invocation that rises in energetic fury and descends with ponderous deliberation. From the lowest depths of the ensemble, the tubas and timpani conjure up an appropriate earthiness. When the clumsy, clod-hopping dance has reached its climax the Earth Spirits scurry underground, leaving a solo trombone to call up the Spirits of the Water with the calm notes of a legato version of the invocation. This leads to the second dance, where the Spirits of the Water bring 'the essence of love distilled from Aether'. With the abrupt arrival of the Spirits of Fire the third dance crackles into a sudden spurt of conflagration. The blaze approaches inch by inch, the staccato notes sounding as brittle as burning stubble.
paraphrased from the colorful desciption from Novello & Co.
444.12, tmp 3 perc - Trumpet in E flat (alternate part on request), Piccolo in B flat, Trumpet in C (alternate part on request), Flugelhorn, 4 Horns, 3 Tenor Trombones, Bass Trombone, Euphonium (alternate part on request), 2 Tubas, Timpani, Percussion (Xylophone, Glockenspiel, Vibraphone, Tambourine, Sleigh Bells, Suspended Cymbal, Bass Drum, Tam Tam)
Grade 5 - advanced university ensemble / professional
Score and Parts available as PDF downloads