Ritual Fire Dance

From Wind Repertory Project
Manuel de Falla

Manuel de Falla (trans. Gardner)

General Info

Year: ca. 1914-1915
Duration: c. 3:20
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alliance Publications
Cost: Score & Parts - $35.00   |   Score Only - $10.00


Full Score
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet,
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Ritual Fire Dance is taken from Manuel de Falla's ballet El Amor brujo (1914-1915). The dance is mesmerizing and whirling, performed by the gypsies to exorcise a ghost; but it is also, like many other famous encores, a dramatic and exciting piece with a recognizable melody.

Program Note from Published Score

El Amor Brujo -- Love Bewitched -- had its world premiere in Madrid in 1915 and its American premiere in 1922 with Leopold Stokowski conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra. Falla's scoring for orchestra was of classical proportions, without trombones or tubas. The band arrangement uses the full instrumentation for the climaxes, but much of the work is thinly scored as in the original composition.

Of the 13 movements of Falla's El Amor Brujo, the Ritual Fire Dance is probably the best known. With sudden changes in dynamics and mood, the composer captures all the excitement of the Andalusian folk dance. Although considered a pure folklore piece by many, the ballet does not contain a single authentic folk tune.

The subject of El Amor Brujo was taken from folk legend and concerns Candelas, the beautiful Spanish heroine which is in love with the handsome Carmelo, the bullfighter. However, she cannot approach him because of the constant intervention of a ghost representing a curse on the family. In desperation, she turns to sorcery, and as the clock strikes midnight, does the Ritual Fire Dance in an effort to banish the evil spirit which is ruining her life.

-Program Notes from Program Notes for Band


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Smith, Norman E. (2002). Program Notes for Band. Chicago: GIA Publications, pp. 200.