A Bit About the Orchestration

Thought i’d explain a bit about how the orchestration and leitmotif work in this piece:

Each Act uses specific instruments (orchestration) and melodies (leitmotif) to represent the characters and ideas, with the instruments combining and the melodies evolving as the story unfolds.

As the tale is of Stina’s transformation from human to wolf, her signature melody and main instrument (oboe) develop, intertwine and are eventually replaced by the wolfs instrument (muted trumpet) and melodies. On her journey she starts out:

– With the villagers (viol, or guitar viol in the case of this sketch)

– Has a day dream about the distant snowy peaks and a better life (the harp represents Stinas imaginative life)

– Becomes a wolf (muted trumpet)

– Meets the wolf guardian of the under world (muted trumpet, here Stina has reverted back to her human oboe form, but learns a new melody to get past him)

– Meets the horde of the underworld (French horns and trombone. Here Stina uses a new melody to skip on the heads of the waltzing horns unnoticed)

– Then the beast (fluttery flute. At first the flute reprises Stina’s new melody sarcastically, but then Stina tries out different  melodies and eventually he softens and gives her the key)

– And finally back to the village (viol here, but as the village is now overrun with wolves, the solo viol melody is soon copied and overrun with trumpets and horns. Stopping abruptly when Stina passes the threshold and turns the villagers back)

And finally she leaves for the forest and is a wolf (muted trumpet plays out the final melody, having first duetted with the oboe and come through triumphant, leaving the human Stina behind)

Posted in Music.