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Adagio para

Orquesta de los
instrumentos
de Vientos
Joaquin Rodrigo
Andrew Janes
Wind Ensemble
Literature
Spring 2016

Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999)


Born in Sagunto, Valencia, Spain, in November 1901.
Lost his sight as a child.
Studied with Paul Dukas at cole Normale de Musique in Paris beginning
in 1929.
Rodrigo had decided to move to France in 1927, since the French capital
had been from the beginning of the century an important cultural centre
for Spanish writers, painters and musicians. It was to be expected,
therefore, that the young Joaqun Rodrigo would want to follow in the
footsteps of Albniz, Falla and Turina.
Composer primarily of concertos, most notably the Concert de Aranjuez
for guitar and orchestra.
Compositional style utilizes Spanish melodies, harmonies, and rhythms.

Adagio para Orquesta de los


instrumentos de vientos
Premiered, as well as commissioned by, the American Wind
Symphony Orchestra in 1966.
~9:40 in duration.
Grade 6
This work represents Joaquin Rodrigos first work for winds.
This work was originally withdrawn by the composers
family and was published through the familys then-new
publishing company Casa Rodrigo. The piece is now
available through Schott as well as Boosey & Hawkes.

Instrumentation
Instrumentation provided by the commissioning
ensemble; specifically for Wind Orchestra as opposed to
Wind Band, justifying the lack of saxophones and
clarinets.
Piccolo
1st Flute
2nd Flute
1st Oboe
2nd Oboe
3rd Oboe
1st Clarinet in Bb
2nd Clarinet in Bb
3rd Clarinet in Bb
1st Bassoon
2nd Bassoon
Cymbals

1st & 2nd Horn in F


3rd & 4th Horn in F
1st Trumpet in C
2nd Trumpet in C
3rd Trumpet in C
1st & 2nd Trombone
Bass Trombone
Tuba
Timpani
Tamburo (Field drum)
Tam-tam
Snare Drum

Tempi & Meter


Adagio, Quarter = 52
Allegro Moderato, Quarter = 80
Poco Piu Moderato, Quarter = 72
3/4 and 2/4 throughout
Frequent use of one-measure (or less) ritardandos/ accelerandos,
immediately followed by a tempo. Pressing gently with the tempo
before settling back to the original tempo.

Change from Adagio to Allegro Moderato is achieved through


accelerando culminating in new tempo at measure 52.

Change from Allegro Moderato to Poco piu Moderato is subito.

Formal Content
Rondo, A-B-A-B-A

Formal Content

Tonality & Harmony


Tonal; modal.

A section: B minor. Natural minor descents as expected of


compositions of Spanish influence, with occasional Dorian melodic
inflection.

B section: E minor, Natural minor harmonic tendencies with


Dorian melodic inflection.

Moments of mode mixture: m.39 is in G minor, as opposed it G


major as expected of work in B minor. Appropriate key reclaimed
through dominant chord in m.43.

B section substantially more adventurous tonally: m. 111 features


simultaneous use of diminished, chromatic, altered-dominant, and
natural-minor scales/chords.

Melodic Content & Features


Adagio is guitar-like in deployment of dotted rhythms. Allegro is based on
Adagio motives fanfare-like with rhythmic ostinatos.

Deployment of many minimalistic elements. Textures/groups of


instruments, motivic statement and development.

B section features minimalistic developmental techniques: initial unit


presented and elaborated in a pseudo-sentence fashion. Development
throughout this section is done through the gradual unfolding of
previously stated melodic material as opposed to the significant
introduction of new material.
This repetition creates a building urgency that, especially when paired
with dancing style of accompaniment, propels the work forward.
Orchestrational minimalism: m.93-110. Set (0, 2, 5, 6) chromatically
embellished, slowly built up over 17 measures to climax, culminating in
chromatically-fluid waves of 32nd notes.
Rimsky-Korsakov (R.K. motive), Ravel (style, tonality), and Tchaikovsky
(orchestration, linking technique of A sections to B sections) all make

Texture & Timbre


Adagio is homophonic featuring solos for Flute, Clarinet, and Oboe; Allegro
is scored primarily tutti with dance-like rhythms realized through accents.
With the understanding of the composer as blind, it is interesting to
observe this piece without score, and notice the seemingly natural ability
on the part of the composer to navigate and amalgamate various textures
and melodies.
Most notable example occurs almost immediately, with the muted trumpet
sound seemlessly becoming a clarinet sound in the same register. Right away,
the statement is made that textures and timbres will be an element to follow
throughout.

Not a single tutti in the entire piece. Closest thing to full tutti occurs first at
measure 22, and grows no bigger than this texture (in size; volume does in
fact increase, particularly in the B section).

Dynamics & Articulation


Another element of minimalism is that there is not much intraphrasal manipulation of dynamic; rather, dynamic change is
achieved through the augmentation or diminution of
instrumentation in regular units.
This hints at his compositional bias rooted in his performance
experience as a fine pianist.

Piece lends itself nicely to a heavily Romantic interpretation


in terms of dynamic approach, particularly in the fluid and
linear A sections.
Articulations seem to be the realization of the dance element
inherent to many Spanish compositions. Though they are
accents, non-Spanish composers might indicate something
closer to a tenuto marking, and a leggiero as well.

Performance Considerations
Some challenges to soloists in extended imitation.
Septuplets against sixteenths at first moment of polyphony:
players must understand their role and be able to react to the
musicians around them while confidently e executing their own
parts.
Prolonged and exposed flute, clarinet, and oboe solos that require
extensive competence.
Cup mute, straight mute; use of C-trumpets; 3 available oboes.
Extended tutti sections of great difficulty, particularly with regard
to rhythm, but also with regard to tonality. m.111; m.142.

Program Note
Composed on a commission by Robert Boudreau and the
American Wind Symphony,Adagio para Orquestra de
Instrumentos de Viento(roughly translated as "Adagio for
Orchestral Winds") is the composer's first work for winds.
Two major moods are presented in a series of contrasting
and alternating sections (rondo), A-B-A-B-A. During the
opening, middle, and closing sections, the mood is quiet and
tranquil, with a flowing melody that is woven through the
upper woodwinds. The second and fourth section are more
angular and fanfare-like, with the brass and percussion
supplying the drive. The work concludes with a soft sigh
from the lower voices and the timpani.

-Program Note by Nikk Pilato

Bibliography
Adagio para Orquesta de los instrumentos de vientos: Joaquin Rodrigo. The
Wind
Repertory Project. Last edited 11 Nov., 2015. Accessed 9 Feb., 2016.
Web.
http://www.windrep.org/Adagio_para_Orquestra_de_Instrumentos_de_Viento

Calcraft, Raymond. Joaquin Rodrigo: Complete Biography. Last edited 2012.


Accessed 10 Feb., 2016. Web. http://www.joaquinrodrigo.com/index.php/en/ biografia/10-autor/biografia/15-biografia-larga

Renshaw, Jeffrey H. The American Wind Symphony Commissioning Project: A


Descriptive Catalog of Published Editions, 1957-1991. Westport, CT:
Greenwood Press, 1991. Hardcover book.

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