Old Tales Retold
This is program music, for a complete orchestra: 2 oboe, clarinet, 2 trumpet, 2 horn, baboon, marimba, claves, snare drum, 3 timpani, strings – 2 violin, viola, cello. The strings may be just one instrument to each part, but for balance – and according to the acoustics of the performance space – more may be used.
The story in the score is stated as:
Girl – Princess perhaps – is happy, but has yet to meet the man of her dreams. Boy – stable boy perhaps – sees her, and she becomes part of his thoughts. And he of hers. (Sigh – how lovely).
But the girl’s father has other ideas – he invites a strong, handsome, horse-riding young man – duke, baron perhaps – from a neighbouring, but not necessarily peace-loving state.
It is clear that the incoming man, the Suitor, is greedy, selfish, spiteful and warlike. (O dear! Gasp!) The sad stable-boy is dismissed from his post (boo, hiss!), and the Princess also becomes sad.
Because she is crying / ruling in her room / refusing to eat breakfast (you know the sort of thing), her father – the King, perhaps – sets both the stable-boy and the rich Suitor a task…. etc. etc. and very etc. – you know what happens now, surely?
Well, yes – both the Boy and the Suitor go off on a journey, and there they meet the Monster. The Suitor (stupidly!) gets into a fight with the Monster. Bad idea! It does not end well (for the Suitor).
The Boy, however, plays a dance – one which strangely matches the Monster’s personality – and the Monster, getting faster and faster, dances himself into oblivion. It does not end well (for the Monster).
The Boy (our hero! hooray!) returns home, and is accepted by the girl’s father.
The Boy (now a Prince) marries the Princess and they all live acceptably for a following reasonable time.
Well, you didn’t expect “happy” and “ever after”. did you?