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Il Cantico

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Oliver Waespi

Oliver Waespi

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Subtitle: A Poem to the Sun

General Info

Year: 2005
Duration: c. 15:35
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Beriato Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $240.00   |   Score Only (print) - $36.00


Full Score
C Piccolo/Flute III
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
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
B-flat Cornet I-II
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
Percussion I-II-III-IV

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Commissioned by the Stadtharmonie Zurich Oerlikon-Seebach for the 2005 WASBE Conference in Singapore, Il Cantico was inspired by the poem Cantico di Frate Sole (Canticle of Brother Sun) by St. Francis of Assisi. In this famous mystic poem, St. Francis expresses his gratitude to God for the creation of nature, the sun, the earth and the living beings.

Il Cantico is based on specific parts of St. Francis’s poem. A slow, dreamlike song in the flute leads gradually to the appearance of the sun, the light energy of which is expressed by radiant, powerful music in the brass instruments. The next, slower part of the work is dedicated to the moon (sora luna), a sort of mirror of the sun, and to the stars (le stelle). The music becomes more thoughtful, leads to a calm sound field in the woodwinds and later to a mystic horn solo. Still during the slow part, several chord fragments flash up, thereby announcing the fast ultimate part of the work. This part is about the fire (frate focu) illuminating the night, some sort of representative of the sun on earth. Towards the end of the work, the sun theme is combined with the fire theme.

Besides these images, a purely musical structure guides the development of Il Cantico. Almost the entire piece evolves from a basic four-tone cell which appears in the horns and flute at the beginning. Consequently, the work is mainly monothematic and structured in the form of a metamorphosis. The basic cell gradually leads to a rich melodic and harmonic development. This basic material is later completed by a new chord series belonging to the fire theme. In the conclusion both approaches are combined.

- Program Note from score

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Perusal score
  • Robblee, Timothy J. "Il Cantico." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 9, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 928-933. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2013.
  • Waespi, O. (2005). Il Cantico: A Poem to the Sun [score]. [s.n.]: [s.l.]