CANTILENA DI FIORITURE ("Song of Blossomings")
Concertino For Twelve Brass Instruments

by Christopher Fulkerson


CF Conducting
Vesalii icones by Peter Maxwell Davies

The Waterfront Theater, San Francisco
October 1987

Photo by John Rice


Buy the Score:

In the vocal style known as Coloratura, a group of notes sung together as an ornamental melody is called a "fioritura," plural "fioriture." Since "fioriture" is a technical term, the title of this piece could be translated as "Ornate Melody of Fioriture," but the fuller translation "Song of Blossomings" seems more poetic. The idea here is to create fioriture or "blossomings" that grow out of the individual tones of relatively chorale-like melodies. These chorale melodies, generally found in the trombone part, were later used in the quartet for unspecified instruments WILLOW, or, FREEDOM'S FAVOR'S FALCONER.

This is the second of my pieces to employ "architectural" planning methods, and the first such not to use the Pitch Multiplication System. Up through my orchestral piece THE RECOGNITIONS I went back and forth between pitch systems, sometimes combining systems; since REMEMBER THE STARS I have not returned to serial methods, though THE VIRGIN IN THE FIELDS may yet see some action in the form of a companion piece.

This piece was requested in 1980 by Alan Yamamoto for the University of California, Berkeley concert band. I didn't want to write a piece for band, primarily because writing for saxophone is a de facto crime punishable by immediate misunderstanding on the part of any audience, but I was scarcely going to let Alan's generous invitation go by. I asked him whether a piece for his brass alone would be usable, and he welcomed the idea. The first performance was given under Alan's direction at a Noon Concert at Morrison Hall in the UCB Music Department.

The nomenclature of this piece is four trumpets; four horns; three trombones; and tuba. It is five minutes long.

The score is 29 pages, copied in the composer's fair hand in ink on velum.

A recording is available.

Page update of December 30, 2014.