The Fountains of Rome (transcr. November 2006) is an arrangement of a 1917 symphonic tone poem for full orchestra by Italian composer Ottorino Respighi for full symphonic band. The poem depicts the four fountains of Rome that Respighi wrote as a homage to one of his favorite cities in Italy that quickly became a sensational piece programmed often in his lifetime and prompted further works from the emerging composer, most notably known for his skills in orchestration and arranging.
From portraying various fountains at times of day, to sprays of water, powerful, majestic melodies in the brass to intimate and lyrical themes of serene tranquil beauty, this piece was the first of three in his “Roman trilogy” (the second being The Pines of Rome and third being Roman Festivals). It is a challenging work in which all of the counterlines, nuances, harmonies and inflections from every instrument in the orchestra have been accounted for and placed into this faithful and accurate rendering for full symphonic wind band.
The four movements of the piece (in order) are:
1. The Fountain of Valle Giulia at Dawn (La fontana di Valle Giulia all’Alba), shows this fountain at daybreak in a pastoral landscape which cattle pass through during the morning.
2. The Triton Fountain in the Morning (La fontana del Tritone al mattino), depicts Naiads and Tritons dancing in the morning light, as figures of the Bernini fountain are seen nearby. Gods and goddesses using conch shells are portrayed by theFrench horn.
3. The Trevi Fountain at Noon (La fontana di Trevi al meriggio), is ushered in by a triumph giving news of a recent victory by the god Neptune.
4. The Villa Medici Fountain at Sunset (La fontana di Villa Medici al tramonto), portrays a much more melancholic atmosphere, as the brilliance of the sun fades.