Fountains of Rome, The (arr Junkin)

From Wind Repertory Project
Ottorino Respighi

Ottorino Respighi (arr. Fred Junkin)

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General Info

Year: 1916
Duration: c. 16:15
Difficulty: VII (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Manuscript
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown

Movements (played without pause)

1. The Fountain of Valle Giulia at Dawn - 4:35
2. The Triton Fountain in the Morning – 2:30
3. The Fountain of Trevi at Midday – 3:30
4. The Villa Medici Fountain at Sunset – 5:05


Full Score
C Piccolo/Flute III
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium I-II
Tuba I-II
String Bass
Harp I-II
Percussion I-II

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

1. The Fountains of Valle Giulia at Dawn: A pastoral landscape is depicted: droves of cattle pass and then disappear in the fresh, damp mists of a Roman dawn.

2. The Triton Fountain in the Morning: A sudden, loud and joyous horn call introduces the movement, summoning troops of naiads and tritons, who chase each other while mingling in a frenzied dance amidst the jets of water.

3. The Trevi Fountain at Midday: A solemn theme appears, passing from woodwinds to brass, which gradually assumes a more triumphal character. Trumpets peal, and across the radiant surface of the water passes Napoleon’s chariot, drawn by sea horses and followed by a train of sirens and tritons. As the procession recedes, distant trumpet calls ring out.

4. The Fountain of Villa Medici at Sunset: A sad theme rises above the subdued warbling. It is the nostalgic hour of sunset, and the air is full of the sound of tolling bells, birds twittering, and leaves rustling. All dies away peacefully into the silence of the night.

- Program Note from Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music

Respighi settled in Rome in 1913 when he took up an appointment as professor of composition at the Santa Cecilia Academy, the city’s famous conservatory. He met and married his wife there -- she was one of his students -- and the vibrant concert life in Rome spurred Respighi to action. The Fountains of Rome was the first result of his efforts.

Fountains is in four movements, each representing one of Rome’s fountains at a different time of day. The opening movement depicts the Valle Giulia at dawn. Now enveloped in the suburbs north of Rome, the Valle Giulia was, during Respighi’s lifetime, a pastoral landscape. The orchestra gradually awakens, murmuring strings joined by plaintive oboes and English horn as cattle pass through the mists in the distance.

In the second movement, the majestic Triton Fountain on the Piazza Barberini springs to life in the morning light. The fountain was created by the sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini, and his work -- and Respighi’s as well -- was inspired by the story of the end of the flood from the first book of Ovid’s Metamorphoses: “The ruler of the seas sets his trident aside, smoothes the billows, and summons the sea-blue Triton who towers up over the depths ... and commands him to blow into his sounding shell and by his signal recall the waters and the rivers.”

The third movement represents what is undoubtedly the grandest of Rome’s fountains, the Trevi Fountain, at midday. Respighi’s majestic writing for brass over swirling strings and cresting waves of percussion captures the fountain’s sheer scale, with its central depiction of Neptune in his shell chariot, emerging from beneath the sea and standing under a Roman triumphal arch.

The finale depicts the modest fountain in front of the Villa Medici, which sits atop a hill overlooking St. Peter’s, at dusk. Respighi’s orchestra provides the rich atmosphere of graceful birdsong, gentle evening breezes, and twinkling stars through a combination of sumptuous writing for strings and woodwinds and his use of percussion instruments such as the celesta and the orchestra bells. The work ends as gently as it began.

- Program Note by John Mangum for the Los Angeles Philharmonic

The transcriber of this work, Fred Junkin (1927-2017), is the father of the famed University of Texas conductor, Jerry Junkin.


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Knightwind Ensemble (Milwaukee, Wisc.) (Erik N. Janners, conductor) – 7 April 2019
  • University of Texas (Austin) Wind Ensemble (Jerry Junkin, conductor) - 15 February 2018 (2018 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • University of Texas (Austin) Wind Ensemble (Jerry Junkin, conductor) – 14 February 2018

Works for Winds by This Composer