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Les Couleurs Fauves

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Karel Husa

Karel Husa

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The title of this work translates from the French as Vivid Colors.

General Info

Year: 1996
Duration: c. 16:40
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Associated Music Pub.
Cost: Score and Parts - $150.00   |   Score Only - $36.00


1. Persistent Bells - 4:55
2. Ritual Dance Masks: Part 1 - 3:45
3. Ritual Dance Masks: Part 2 - 6:15


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Eb Clarinet
Bb Clarinet I-II-III
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Contra Alto Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Bass Saxophone/Contrabass Clarinet
Trumpet (in Bb) I-II-III-IV
Trumpet (in C) I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
Euphonium I-II
Tuba I-II
String Bass/Contrabassoon
Percussion, I-II-III-IV

(percussion detailed desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This piece was commissioned by the Northwestern University School of Music in 1996, to honor the 40th anniversary of its director of bands, John Paynter. Unfortunately, this wonderful musician and teacher died before the work’s premiere. It was first performed at a memorial concert for Paynter by the Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble, conducted by the composer, on November 16, 1996.

Karel Husa writes:

“I have always been fascinated with colors, not only in music, but also in nature and art. The paintings of the Impressionists and Fauvists have been particularly attractive to me, and their French origin accounts to the French title of my piece. The two movements gave me the chance to play with colors — sometimes gentle, sometimes raw — of the wind ensemble, something John Paynter also liked to do in his conducting. I was reminded of those French painters, whom I admired as a young student in Paris. They called themselves Fauvists (vivid, wild), for they used both, often powerful strokes of brushes with unmixed colors. Their paintings, through, breathe with sensitivity, serenity and gentleness. John’s transcriptions as well as his conducting had these characteristics, and hopefully Les Couleurs Fauves will remind you of them.”

- Program Note by the San Francisco Wind Ensemble concert program, 5 October 2013


Commercial Discography

Audio Links

Sample download; ensemble and conductor unknown

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts Wind Ensemble (Stephen Squires, conductor) – 23 October 2019
  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Ensemble (Stephen Peterson, conductor) – 21 February 2019 (CBDNA 2019 National Conference, Tempe, Ariz.)
  • Knightwind Ensemble (Milwaukee, Wisc.) (Erik N. Janners, conductor) – 10 February 2019
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Wind Ensemble (Paula Holcomb, conductor) – 4 March 2018
  • University of Oregon (Eugene) Wind Ensemble (Rodney Dorsey, conductor) – 16 November 2017
  • Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.) Wind Ensemble (Mark Scatterday, conductor) – 25 September 2017
  • United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Jason K. Fettig, conductor) - 10 March 2017 (82nd Annual ABA National Convention)
  • Yale University (New Haven, Conn.) Concert Band (Thomas C. Duffy, conductor) – 17 February 2017
  • San Francisco Wind Ensemble (Mark Scatterday, conductor) - 5 October 2013
  • Kunitachi College of Music Blasorchester (Donald Hunsberger, conductor) – 17 December 2011 (2011 Midwest Clinic)

Works for Winds by this Composer


  • Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. 2002. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 4. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 813-823.