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Dance Suite from "Ring Round the Moon"

for small orchestra

Year:  1953   ·  Duration:  19m
Instrumentation:  1110; 1000; piano/harpsichord; perc.; strings | (Perc: triangle, castanets, tambourine, susp. cymbals, sd. drum, 2 tn. drums)

Year:  1953
Duration:  19m
Instrumentation  1110; 1000; piano/harpsicho...

Composer:   David Farquhar

Films, Audio & Samples

David Farquhar: Tango from ...

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Sample Audio

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Sample Score

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This suite of dances for small orchestra incorporates music originally written for the Jean Anouilh/Christopher Fry play. It has become the composer's most performed work.

This small orchestra version is the original 1953 scoring that was recorded for the NZ Players to take on tour. In that recording we used a "harpsichordized" piano (sheets of newspaper over grand piano strings) to give an extra "edge" to the sound; you'll see the Waiteata score says "piano or harpsichord", and it has been performed with harpsichord.

In writing the dances, I followed the play-script for the second act, keeping to regular 8-bar dance formulas and asking the director, Richard Campion, for approximate durations for each dance; (his original estimations usually turned out to be much too short!). Only one dance, the Tango, was danced on stage; here my wife-to-be, Raydia d'Elsa, helped me by going through the steps and fitting in the dialogue. (Letter from David Farquhar to Tom Bayliss.)

(Note by the composer.)

Commissioned note

Commissioned by the New Zealand Players

Contents note

  1. Introduction
  2. Galop
  3. Slow Waltz
  4. Tango
  5. Polka
  6. Waltz
  7. Two-Step
  8. Introduction & Waltz
  9. Finale

Performance history

03 Apr 1998: p: Tango from Ring Round the Moon (piano duet); Neilsen and Farquhar 1998

03 May 2015: Manawatu Sinfonia

12 Jul 2023: Wellington City Orchestra | Concert for Matariki

Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Farquhar in 1975

Performed by the Alex Lindsay String Orchestra conducted by Alex Lindsay at the Town Hall, Wellington in 1962

Performed by the Alex Lindsay Orchestra conducted by Alex Lindsay

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