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Overture to "The Wasps"

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Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams (trans. Hudson)


General Info

Year: 1909 / 1995
Duration: c. 10:00
Original scoring: Orchestra
Difficulty: IV-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: TRN Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $90.00   |   Score Only - $12.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Eb Clarinet
Bb Clarinet I-II-III
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bassoon I-II
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet I-II-III
Horn I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Baritone
Tuba
String Bass
Harp
Percussion including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Cymbals (crash and suspended)
  • Timpani
  • Triangle


Errata

The following errors are in the PARTS:

  • Piccolo, m. 317, change last note to A.
  • Flute I & II, m. 405, change the last quarter note to B-flat.
  • Oboe I, m. 76, add dot to first note; m. 117, change second note to F-sharp.
  • Oboe II, m. 117, change second note to F-sharp.
  • Clarinet I, m. 217, beat 3; change lower div. G to G-sharp.
  • Clarinet II, m. 224, delete bar line before beat 3.
  • Clarinet III, m. 420, change 2nd 16th note to F natural.
  • Bassoon I & II, m. 311, change beat 2 to even eighth notes.
  • Alto Sax I, m. 133, delete first eighth rest.
  • Alto Sax II, m. 114, make first quarter G sharp, m. 121, make D-sharp.
  • Trumpet I, m. 222, delete bar line before beat 3.
  • Trumpet II, m. 130, change to 5 measures rest; m. 349, delete bar line before beat 3.
  • Horn I, m. 317, change 4th 16th note to D.
  • Horn II, m. 146, 154, 160, 349, delete sharp from key signature.
  • Trombone II, m. 130, 131, make 1st note B natural; m. 132, make 1st note D-flat.
  • Tuba, m. 159, change 1st two eighth notes to F-G.
  • String Bass, m. 403, first 4 notes should read: F-G-A-G.
  • Harp, m. 201, beat 1 & 2, change top stave to bass clef.


Program Notes

Overture to “The Wasps” was written for a production at Trinity College, Cambridge, of Aristophanes’ play, The Wasps, which satirizes the Athenian courts of law. The overture opens with the buzzing sounds of the judiciary and continues with a bouncy tune introduced by the woodwinds and joined by the entire band. A march theme and a pastoral tune are added later. All three themes are restated and altered throughout the piece, which eventually ends with the march tune. Except for the opening buzzing, the piece has surprisingly little to do with wasps or with ancient Greece.

- Program Note by the San Jose Wind Symphony


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


Audio Links


State Ratings

  • Florida: VI
  • Georgia: VI
  • Louisiana: V
  • Maryland: VI
  • Mississippi: VI-A
  • Oklahoma: V-A
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: VI


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Philadelphia (Penn.) Wind Symphony (Paul Bryan, conductor) – 14 December 2019
  • Butler University (Indianapolis, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Michael Colburn, conductor) – 8 April 2017
  • Allegheny College (Penn.) Band Camp for Adult Musicians (Timothy Foley, conductor) – 1 July 2016
  • University of Texas, Austin, Symphony Band (Steven M. Knight, conductor) – 14 October 2015
  • San Jose Wind Symphony (Edward Harris, conductor) - 9 March 2014


Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music


All Wind Works


Resources

  • Vaughan Williams, R.; Hudson, F. (1995). Overture to "The Wasps" [score]. TRN Music: Ruidoso, N.M.