Dance Suite (Horovitz)

From Wind Repertory Project
Joseph Horovitz

Joseph Horovitz

General Info

Year: 1992
Duration: c. 13:15
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Molenaar Edition
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - €254.49   |   Score Only (print) - €37.56


1. Allegro - 5:58
2. Andantino - 4:49
3. Vivace - 2:55


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet/Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbal
  • Glockenspiel
  • Maracas
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Temple Blocks
  • Triangle
  • Woodblock
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This work follows a tradition established at the end of the seventeenth century: the creation of a musical structure by using a succession of dance movements, composed in such a way that a satisfying cumulative effect is produced. This method can be traced, starting from the works of Corelli, through the so-called Mannheim School to Mozart, and on to Brahms and beyond. Indeed, most classical symphonies owe their origin to this tradition.

Each of the three movements of Dance Suite contains themes and motifs which are based on clearly identifiable dance patterns, more or less traditional and tonal in harmonic language. The first movement is a mixture of march and gavotte elements, but these occur as variants of a single main theme. The tempo is brisk and the strongly accentuated four-beat measures creates a feeling of motoric drive. This is often counteracted by unexpected syncopation and surprising modulations. Horovitz dispenses with a second subject in favour of a very elaborate development, which makes the final quotation of the theme into a sort of recapitulation.

In contrast, the second movement is a gentle, gracefully undulating dance, using two steady beats in every measure. Here there are two themes, the first more rhythmic, the second more lyrical. The second theme always uses the first as accompaniment, rather as a singer might use a guitar. Both themes undergo several modulations before returning to the home key. A Spanish flavour pervades the rhythmic and melodic elements of this movement.

The finale is a fast rondo (in 6/8) whose main theme is best described as a tarantella. This alternates several times with a more solid, rustic theme (in 2/4). However, the main theme is recalled in varying guises, including a parody Latin-American version. The orchestration becomes morr elaborate and exciting as the movement proceeds, and the whole work ends with a coda recalling the main rondo theme with an enthusiastic flourish.

Joseph Horovitz wrote about Dance Suite:

Most of the melodies and rhythms in the Dance Suite have been in my thoughts for many years, ever since my early career as conductor of ballet, and later as composer of some sixteen ballet scores. Some of these ideas were sketched on manuscript paper, others remained in my head and even in my dreams. The composition of this work gave me the chance to search among these half-subconscious sources and to offer my discoveries to the wind-orchestra repertoire.

- Program Note from publisher


State Ratings

  • Virginia: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Irish Youth Wind Ensemble (Cork) (Ronan O'Reilly) - 29 July 2022

Works for Winds by this Composer


  • Horovitz, J. (1992). Dance Suite: For Band [score]. Molenaar: Wormerveer, Neth.
  • Perusal score