Danza de los Duendes
composer: Nancy Galbraith (1991, rev. 2004)
genres: symphony orchestra OR  concert band
length: 1 movement, 9:30 minutes
orchestration: 3 fl(pic), 2 ob, 2 cl, 2 bn; 4 hn, 3 tpt, 3 tbn(bs), tba;
timp, 4 perc, hrp, pno; strings
publisher: Subito Music Publishing (ASCAP)
60 Depot Street, Verona, NJ 07044
mail@subitomusic.com • 973-857-3440

world premiere: 27 March 1992
Orquesta Sinfónica de TucumánEduardo Alonso-Crespo, conductor
San Miquel de Tucumán, Argentina
program notes:

"Danza de los Duendes" was composed for Argentina's Orquesta Sinfónica de Tucumán, whose music director, Eduardo Alonso-Crespo, led the world premiere in 1992, a month apart from the Pittsburgh Symhony Orchestra's North American premiere with conductor Kirk Muspratt. The work's title—an afterthought suggested by the composer's student—refers to the malicious goblin-like creatures (los duendes) of South American folklore.

In 1996 Galbraith revised the work and re-scored it as a wind symphony. The new "Danza" became her most popular piece and is performed frequently by concert bands in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. In 1998 "Danza de los Duendes" appeared as the opening track on Klavier Records' celebrated CD, "Dream Catchers", in a performance by the world-renouned North Texas Wind Sympony led by Eugene Corporon. In 2003 the composer transposed the work back to orchestral form.

In 2004 Galbraith revised "Danza" for orchestra to reflect the re-scored wind symphony version, and it was premiered by the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jason Worzbyt, at the 7th Festival of Women Composers International in Carnegie Music Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

composer's notes:

"Danza de los Duendes" begins with an introductory section that makes use of high woodwind textures and percussion. The introduction closes with falling runs into a quiet pulse in the clarinets. The main theme is then stated in the four trumpets. It is answered by various instruments and eventually is stated by the whole ensemble in an explosive climax, which evolves into a repeated quarter note octave in the upper winds and large fortissimo chords in the brass. The development section makes use of the percussion and piano as background texture over which lyrical melodies are stated in the woodwinds. The section closes with the loud repeated quarter note octave, which decrescendos into a single quarter note pulse in the bass clarinet. The piano enters very quietly as accompaniment for soft and lush brass chords. The bass clarinet again enters with a pulsating rhythm. Ideas are gradually layered on top leading to a rousing, dramatic re-statement of the main theme, which closes the piece. — N.G.

press bytes: Galbraith has penned a score of bright allure, its minimalistic touches deftly applied and its energetic personality balanced by lyrical finesse.
Pittsburgh Press
  ...full of imagination and energy.
American Record Guide
source: nancygalbraith.com