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Michael Ball

Michael Ball

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General Info

Year: 1986
Duration: c. 19:00
Difficulty: V 1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Novello
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - £130.00   |   Score Only (print) - £26.00


1. Burla – 2:05
2. Barcarola – 9:50
3. Palio – 7:50


Full Score
C Piccolo/Flute III
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
Cornets I-II-III
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
Tuba I-II
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Gong, small
  • Guiro
  • Maracas
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Piccolo Snare Drum
  • Sizzle Cymbal
  • Snare Drums, small and medium
  • Sonagi
  • Suspended Cymbals (3)
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-Tam
  • Temple Blocks (5)
  • Tenor Drum, large
  • Timbales (5)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Whip
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The composer writes:

Omaggio is a homage to Italy and all things Italian and is an attempt to repay a small part of the debt which I feel after my visits there over several years. In fact, it is a sort of "In the South" for me.

The piece is in three movements lasting some 19 minutes in all. A brief Burla is a fast-moving scherzo character that pays tribute to Verdi ­ the title is put into context by the quotation from the fugue which concludes the last act of Falstaff: Tutto nel mondo è burla.

Barcarola is sterner stuff ­ a grim, black gondola evokes the Venice of the Serenissima. The movement operates on two different levels ­ as an actual gondola song (in the slightly unusual metre of 9/8; and in peeling back the layers of historical time, as in the outer movements of my orchestral Resurrection Symphonies of 1982. These time-doors eventually open on an early seventeenth century St Mark's and the jaunty fanfares of Monteverdi peel out, coupled with that great early wind-band work, the Sonata pian¹ e forte of Giovanni Gabrieli. Inevitably, the time layers fold back once more and the moment is only a memory.

The most substantial movement is the final Palio, an unashamedly programmatic evocation of the historic Sienese horse race, ending with a whole festival of Tuscan folk-song allowing optional additional percussionists, possibly in medieval costume, to create a suitably theatrical framework to the closing sections.

This work was commissioned by the Royal Northern College of Music with funds provided by North West Arts and the RNCM School of Wind & Percussion. The world premiere took place at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK, in November 1987, given by the RNCM Wind Orchestra, conducted by Timothy Reynish.

- Program Note by World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE)


Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by this Composer