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La Fanciulla del West

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Giacomo Puccini

Giacomo Puccini (arr. Johan de Meij)


Subtitle: Symphonic Suite from the Opera

The title translates from the Italian as The Girl of the West.


General Info

Year: 1910 / 2008
Duration: c. 15:35
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Amstel
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - €210.00   |   Score Only (print) - €36.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
C Piccolo/Flute III
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn in F
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 Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Harp
Timpani
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Tam Tam
  • Wind Machine (on synthesizer)
  • Xylophone

Players humming


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the West) is an opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Guelfo Civinini and Carlo Zangarini, based on the play The Girl of the Golden West by the American author David Belasco. Fanciulla followed Madama Butterfly, which was also based on a Belasco play.

The opera has fewer of the show-stopping highlights that are characteristic of other Puccini works, but is admired for its impressive orchestration and for a score that is more melodically integrated than is typical of his previous work. Fanciulla displays influences from composers Claude Debussy and Richard Strauss, without being in any way imitative. Similarities between the libretto and the work of Richard Wagner have also been found, though some attribute this more to the original plot of the play, and have asserted that the opera remains quintessentially Italian.

The opera had a successful and highly publicized premiere at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, in 1910. Nevertheless, while Puccini deemed it one of his greatest works, La fanciulla del West has become a less popular opera within the composer's repertoire, drawing a mixed public reception overall. Despite the plot being a source of significant criticism, the majority of academics and musicians agree in calling it a magnum opus, particularly lauding its craftmanship. The conductor of the work's premiere, Arturo Toscanini, called the opera a "great symphonic poem".

- Program Note from Wikipedia


Although the opera became an immediate success in America, the work never received the same recognition as other works by Puccini -- except maybe in Germany. Perhaps this relative oblivion can be attributed to the subtle integration of the arias within the whole: in La Fanciulla you do not keep stopping because the composer wishes to let you enjoy another languishing sopranistic panorama; the music rather has the steady pace of a stage-coach travelling through the land of cowboys and Indians. The musical style also differs from Puccini’s other works: in La Fanciulla he makes an excursion towards the impressionism of Claude Debussy. The lovers Minnie and Ramerrez are immersed in the authentic ‘couleur locale’ of the Wild West, with its many other fortune hunters.

- Program Note by Anthony Fiumara


Commercial Discography


Media


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

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Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources