GARRITAN INTERACTIVE
PRINCIPLES OF ORCHESTRATION
by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov



Chapter IV
COMPOSITION


Lesson Notes:
This lesson discusses composition and tutti orchestration.





Full Tutti

The word tutti generally means the simultaneous use of all instruments, but the word "all" is used relatively, and it must not be inferred that every single instrument must necessarily be employed to form a tutti. In order to simplify the following illustrations I will divide the word into two classes, full tutti and partial tutti, — independently of whether the orchestra is constructed in pairs, in three's, or a larger number of instruments. I call full tutti the combination of all melodic groups, strings, wind, and brass. By partial tutti I mean passages in which the brass group only takes part, whether two horns or two trumpets participate alone, or whether two horns are combined with one or three trombones, without tuba, trumpets, or the two remaining horns, etc.:





Professor Belkin Comments: RK’s distinction here is not entirely clear. A simpler definition of a partial tutti is: the presence of two of the principal orchestral families, used as a mass (e.g. an oboe solo accompanied by strings is NOT a partial tutti, but string harmony together with wind harmony IS).

In both species of tutti full wood-wind may be employed or not, according to the register and musical context of the passage. For instance, in the extreme high register it may be essential to include the piccolo; in the low register flutes will be unnecessary, and yet the passage can still be called tutti. The inclusion of kettle-drums, harp, and other instruments of little sustaining power, as of the percussion in general, does not come under discussion.


The variety of orchestral operations increases with the number of instruments forming a tutti, in fact, so great does it become that it is impossible to consider all combinations. I can only give a few examples of full and partial tutti, and leave the reader to draw his own conclusions. Some of these examples fall under the double heading of full and partial tutti, and the student is reminded that the tutti, is used essentially in forte and fortissimo, rarely in pianissimo and piano passages.

Professor Belkin Comments: It seems paradoxical, but the more instruments there are playing, the LESS ways there are to arrange them. This is because the loudest instruments (the brass and certain percussion) force the others into specific registers if they are to be heard at all. So, for example, the upper woodwinds, playing together with a mass of loud brass instruments, MUST be placed above the brass; otherwise they are simply inaudible.

Professor Belkin Comments: While, as RK points out, tutti writing is mainly used in forte passages, the strange, menacing effect of a soft tutti is incomparable. Beethoven seems to have been the first to discover this sound, in the first movement of the 9th symphony.

Examples:
  • Snegiurotchka, Section 61 and Section 62 – Partial and full Tutti.
  • Snegiurotchka, Section 231 – Partial Tutti, without the trumpets (cf. Ex. 8).
Score References & Musical Examples Using GPO:




No. 204. Snegourotchka, Section 219 – Full Tutti


Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score


Other Examples:
  • No. 204. Snegourotchka, Section 325 – 326 Full Tutti and chorus (cf.Ex.8).
  • Sadko, Section 3, Section 223, Section 239 - Full Tutti (cf. Ex. 86).
No. 205 - 206. Sadko, Section 173, Section 177 - Full Tutti with chorus, differently scored.

Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score


Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score



No.207 - 208. The Christmas Night, Section 184 and Section 186 - Full Tutti, orchestrated in different ways, with and without chorus.

Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score


Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score



Other Examples:
  • TheTsar'sBride, Overture Section 1, Section 2, Section 7 - Full and partial Tutti (cf Ex. 179 – 181)
  • TheTsar'sBride, Overture Section 141 – Full Tutti.
  • TheTsar'sBride, Overture Section 177 – Full Tutti.
  • Pan Voyevoda, Section 186 and Section 188 – Full Tutti.
  • Antar, Section 65 – (cf. Ex 32).
  • Shecherazade, 3rd movement, Section M; cf. also 1st movement Section A, Section E, Section H; 2nd movement, Section K, Section P, Section R; 3rd movement, Section G, Section O; 4th movement, Section G, Section P, Section W and further on to Section Y (No. 193, 194, 19, 66, 77).
  • Spanish Capriccio, Section B, Section, F, Section J, Section P, Section V, Section X-Z (cf. Ex. 3).
  • Russian Easter Fête, Section F, Section J, before Section L, Section Y, up to the end.
  • 3rd Symphony, 1st movement Section D, Section R – T, Section X; 2nd movement Section A, Section E; 4th movement Section A, Section H, Section S.
  • Sadko, Symphonic Tableau Section 20 - 24.
  • Mlada, Act III Section 12 (cf. Ex. 258).
For examples of Tutti chords, see special Tables at the end of Vol. II.


Tutti
in the wind.

In many cases the wood-wind and brass groups can form a tutti by themselves for periods of varying length. Sometimes this is effected by the wood-wind alone, but more frequently with the support of horns. At other times the horns are found alone without the wood-wind, and, lastly, a tutti may be comprised of instruments of each group of varying numbers. The addition of kettle-drums and the rest of the percussion is quite common and constitutes what the Germans call "Janistscharenmusik", or Turkish infantry music. Violins and Double basses playing more or less important pizz. notes are often added to wood-wind instruments (tutti), likewise the remainder of the strings and the harps; this process renders the sustained notes in the wood-wind more distinct. Tutti passages in wood-wind and horns do not produce any great amount of power in forte passages, but on the other hand, tutti in the brass groups alone may attain an extraordinary volume of tone. In the following examples the formation of pedal notes by strings or wood-wind in no way alters the general character of the Tutti:

Professor Belkin Comments: It is worth mentioning that these various kinds of partial tutti are very important in varying the overall sound. If all the orchestral families are present all the time, the effect becomes after a while quite grey and colorless.

Score References & Musical Examples Using GPO:

No. 210 – 211. Snegourotchka Section 149, Section 151 (compare).

Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score


Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score



Other Examples:

  • Tsar Salton Section 14, Section 17, Section 26 (cf. Ex. 182 – 184)
  • Pan Voyevoda Section 57, Section 186, Section 262.
No. 212. Ivan the Terrible, Act II Section 19: cf. also Act. III Section 5.

Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score


No. 213 – 214. Legend of Kitesh Section 294, Section 312 (compare).

Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score


Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score



No. 215. The Golden Cockerel Section 116; cf. also Section 82 and Section 84.

Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score


Other Examples:
  • Antar Section 37 (cf. Ex. 65).

Tutti pizzicato.

The quartet of strings (pizzicato), reinforced occasionally by the harp and piano, may, in certain cases constitute a particular kind of tutti, which can only attain any great degree of strength by support from the wood-wind. Without this support it is of medium power, though still fairly brilliant in quality.
Professor Belkin Comments: The interest of this ensemble is in its percussive quality. It is useful either to add definition to winds, or else as contrast to long passages of sustained tone.

Score References & Musical Examples Using GPO:

No.216. Snegourotchka, before Section 128; cf. also Section 153 and before Section 305.

Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score


No. 217 Russian Easter Fête Section K; cf. also Section U and Section V.


Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score


Other Examples:
  • Spanish Capriccio Section A, Section C, before Section S, before Section P; cf. also Section O (Ex. 56).
  • Mlada, Act II Section 15.
  • Sadko Section 220 (cf. Ex. 295).
  • Legend of Kitesh Section 101.

No. 218. The May Night, Act I, The Mayor's Song - combination of strings, arco and pizz.


Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score


Tutti
in one, two and three parts.


It often happens that a moderately full orchestral ensemble exe~cutes a passage composed of one or two harmonic parts, in unison or in octaves. Such melodic phrases call for more or less simple orchestration with the usual doubling of 'parts, or, in ornamental writing, admit of contrast in tone coloring, occasionally with the addition of sustained notes.
Professor Belkin Comments: This rather bare texture should be sparingly used.

Other Examples:
  • Snegourotchka, before Section 152, Section.174, Section 176.
  • The Tsar's Bride Section 120- 121 (cf. Ex. 63).
  • The Golden Cockerel Section 215.
No.219-221. Legend of Kitesh Section 142, Section 144, Section 147 - 3 part Tutti, with different scoring.


Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score


Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score


Click on Play Button below to Play from the Score


Other Examples:
  • Legend of Kitesh Section 138, Section 139 - Tutti in one part.

Next Lesson: Lesson 21 - COMPOSITION - Soli