Seven Pieces from Constellations Set II

Seven Pieces from Constellations Set II


Click the links below to see and hear pieces from the book.

1. Draco
2. Carina
3. Southern Cross
4. Orion, The Hunter
5. The Hunting Dogs
6. Cetus
7. Chameleon

SKU: FM1193 Category:


Constellations is a series of pieces in diverse styles for varied solo instruments with piano accompaniments. Currently, there are 40 pieces in four albums. Each piece is inspired by a different grouping of stars and their ancient mythologies. This album comprises 7 pieces from Set II for trumpet and piano with technical standards ranging from intermediate to higher. Published in other albums, the remaining pieces in the series are for Violin, Flute and Descant Recorder, all with piano accompaniments.
1 – Draco, the Dragon, is a slow, swing-rhythm Blues-style piece with a chromatic melody. There are long, legato phrases smooth and sustained in tone in the low register conveying a lazy, laid-back feel. The constellation is not very bright despite its immense length.
2 – Carina conveys a seascape with crashing waves and gusty winds billowing the sails of a ship. Note the rise and fall of dynamics within the phrases following a fanfare opening to the piece, music that returns in the more mysterious central section of the piece. The constellation is now only part of an older and larger one, the keel of the ship, Argo.
3 – Southern Cross is another jazz-styled piece, a little quicker and tonally more wide-ranging than Draco, but still with swing rhythms. The Southern Cross is part of the constellation, Crux that appears on several southern-hemisphere national flags, including that of Australia, whose city of Melbourne’s main railway station is named after. Perhaps this piece is more inspired by trains than by stars!
4 – Orion, the Hunter, is one of the most magnificent constellations and perhaps the most recognisable with its belt of three stars. This showpiece focuses on the hunting theme and includes horn-call passages, at first played on natural harmonics. As an ensemble piece, there is much interplay between trumpet and piano.
5 – The Hunting Dogs is another lively showpiece. A central lyrical melody is framed by a spirited, repeated-note theme in outer sections that pays homage to the composer, Hummel. The ending suggests a hunting horn call. The constellation is properly named Canes Venatici.
6 – Cetus, the sea monster, is modern in style and uses some special techniques such as echo effects, tremolando and flutter-tonguing. The inspiration for the piece comes from the mythology of Andromeda’s capture by the beast.
7 – Chameleon is a longer and more technically advanced piece in the form of theme and variations. Each variation reflects the mood of a different colour.  The southern-hemisphere constellation is very small and faint.  

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