La Folia

La Folia, a 16th-century street dance from the Iberian Peninsula, has over time become St. Pierre’s “folly” (in the sense of apparent obsession). It was featured in the 1991 film, Tous les matins du monde, as well as in The Addams Family movie, also from 1991. Beethoven quoted it in the second movement of his Fifth Symphony. It is also the tune to the Taizé hymn, Laudate Dominum

He has composed over thirty variation sets on it, some for solo instruments, others for chamber groups, string orchestra, and concert band.

However, unlike traditional sets, his are mostly fantasy variations; that is, there is no note-for-note, bar-for-bar correspondence between the theme and the variation. He moves freely from one key, tempo, and meter to another, and modulates liberally between keys within variations. 

Introducing La Folia

…the intricacy of most Folia variations … lends them to repeated listens. The exact same tune repeated over and over quickly gets dull. But when a composer picks up a theme and plays with it, toying with the harmonies or the instruments, we fall under its spell. …when a melody is “buried” it can sustain longer engagement across multiple repetitions. 

La Folia is surely proof of this: it has been passed down and used by countless musicians in their own way, like a family cookbook where everyone adds their own recipe. The point, though, is that the basic ingredients are always the same. In this way, La Folia spirals on to new things, unforgettable even at the start of its seventh century.

Excerpt from article at BBC: Culture

26 July, 2019

FOLIA VARIATIONS

Simply click on the orange titles below to listen, courtesy of ReverbNation or click here to listen to the ‘La Folia’ playlist on ReverbNation. Note that you do not need to create a ReverbNation account.

 ARPAFOLIA (2019)

SIX VARIATIONS ON ‘LA FOLIA’ FOR RECORDER & HARP
click here to download the free score on imslp
ANTHONY ST. PIERRE, RECORDER
JACQUELINE GORING, HARP

A Suite of Follies (2021)

courtly dances in the style of FranÇois Couperin, but employing a modern harmonic palette
Click here to download the free score on imslp
Anthony St. Pierre, piano 

Bassafolia (2021)

four variations on ‘La Folia’ for unaccompanied double bass
click here to download the free score on imslp
Jesse Dietschi, double bass

Bassonafolia (2022)

six variations on ‘la folia’ for unaccompanied bassoon
click here to download the free score on imslp
christian sharpe, bassoon

BrassAfolia (2020)

nine variations on ‘La Folia’
click here to download the free score on imslp
Toronto Brass Quintet

  CLARIFOLIA (2022)

FIVE VARIATIONS ON ‘LA FOLIA’ FOR UNACCOMPANIED CLARINET AND BASS CLARINET
click here to download the free score on imslp
pETER STOLL, CLARINET

  FANFARE, FOLIA, FORLANE & FURIA (2019)

LA FOLIA’ APPEARS ALONG WITH FRAGMENTS OF TUNES BY BACH, COUPERIN AND RAVEL
PERFORMED BY SINFONIA TORONTO & CONDUCTED BY NURHAN ARMAN
Click here to download the free score on imslp
*****RECORDING GENEROUSLY FUNDED BY KURT AND MAURA JUNG*****

 FIESTA FOLLIES (2019)

SEVEN VARIATIONS ON ‘LA FOLIA’ FOR RECORDER & GUITAR
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE SCORE ON IMSLP
ANTHONY ST. PIERRE, RECORDER
RAFFI ALTOUNIAN, GUITAR

 FOBOLIA (2022)

six variations on ‘la folia’ for unaccompanied oboe
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE SCORE ON IMSLP
clare scholtz, oboe

 folia for flute (2022)

seven variations on ‘la folia’ for unaccompanied flute and piccolo
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE SCORE ON IMSLP
laura chambers, flute

FOLLIES FACILES (2021)

FOUR EASY VARIATIONS ON ‘LA FOLIA’
suitable FOR INTERMEDIATE PIANO STUDENTS
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE SCORE ON IMSLP
ANTHONY ST. PIERRE. PIANO

FOLLIES FOR MALLETS (2021)

six variations on ‘la folia’ for solo mallet percussion
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE SCORE ON IMSLP
Daniel Morphy, mallet percussion

forays on ‘LA Folia’ (2022)

FIVE VARIATIONS ON ‘LA FOLIA’ FOR ORGAN (MANUALITER)
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE SCORE ON IMSLP
ANTHONY ST. PIERRE, ORGAN

 LA FOLIA À TRE CORNI (2022)

FIVE VARIATIONS ON ‘LA FOLIA’ FOR HORN TRIO
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE SCORE ON IMSLP
JESSIE BROOKS, DAVID QUACKENBUSH, CHRISTINE PASSMORE – HORNS

LA FOLIA VARIATIONS & FUGHETTA FOR ORGAN (2004)

click here to download the free score on imslp
WILLIAM O’MEARA, ORGAN

mÉtamorphose des dominos (2022)

Variations on François Couperin’s ‘Les Follies françaises’
click here to download the free score on imslp
ANTHONY ST. PIERRE, piano

 PHOLIA (2006)

NINE VARIATIONS ON ‘LA FOLIA’ FOR RECORDER & PIANO
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE SCORE ON IMSLP
ANTHONY ST. PIERRE, RECORDER
LARRY GREEN, PIANO

Sassofolia (2021)

five variations on ‘La Folia’ for unaccompanied alto saxophone
click here to download the free score on imslp
Mike Wark, alto saxophone

SAXOFOLIA (2021)

SIX Variations on La ‘FOLIA’ FOR SAXOPHONE QUARTET
Click here to download the Free score on imslp
tORONTO SAX QUARTET

Trompetafolia (2021)

five variations on ‘La Folia’ for unaccompanied trumpet
Click here to download the Free score on imslp
Katherine Moffatt, trumpet

tubafolia (2021)

FIVE variations on ‘La Folia’ FOR UNACCOMPANIED TUBA
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE SCORE ON IMSLP
JEN STEPHEN, TUBA

FOLIAS FOR RECORDERS

Alto & harp (Arpafolia)

Alto & piano (Pholia)

Alto & tenor

Alto, tenor, bass

Sopranino & percussion (Percufolia)

Sopranino or piccolo (solo)

Soprano, alto, tenor, bass

Tenor/alto & guitar (Fiesta Follies)

Various stand-alone

FOLIAS FOR VARIOUS ENSEMBLES

Brass quintet

Concert band

Horn trio

Saxophone quartet

String orchestra

SOLO FOLIAS

Strings

Violin (coming soon)

Viola (coming soon)

Cello (coming soon)

Double bass

Woodwinds

Piccolo or sopranino recorder

Flute

Oboe

Clarinet/bass clarinet

Bassoon

Saxophone

Brass

Horn (coming soon)

Trumpet

Trombone (coming soon)

Tuba

Percussion

Mallet percussion

Keyboard

Organ

Piano

2021 © anthony st. pierre composer

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