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"Zenobia's Farewell"

Title Zenobia's Farewell
ComposerF.G.J. Absil
Instrum.Studio Orchestra, feature for piano
StyleMelancholy Mood (Film Music)
KeyGm - Em - G#m
Meter3/4 - 4/4
Tempo68 (Slow) - 112 BPM (Waltz)


A musical score excerpt
  • Flute 1-2, Clarinet 1-2, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon 1;
  • Horns in F 1-2-3-4;
  • Celesta, Glockenspiel, Harp, Percussion (2 parts: Bass Drum, Suspended Cymbal, Triangle;
  • Piano;
  • String section: Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Contrabass;
  • Synthesizer (Lead, Pad, Strings).


This medium-slow composition, 'Zenobia's Farewell', is a melancholy mood piece featuring the piano. It presents a main theme in Gm (minor, Aeolian mode), that is varied in three statements, the last in a new key (Em). The contrasting element consists of two fragments with a slightly macabre Waltz theme. These are connected by various transitions. Breakdown:

  • m. 1-6: Intro. Meter 3/4, 68 BPM, key Gm. Sustained strings, woodwinds and synthesizer vox pad. Viola and harp groove in 8ths.
  • m. 7-17: [A] Main theme 1st statement. Lead piano with light strings accompaniment (Vi 2, Va, Vc).
  • m. 18-25: [B] Transition. Sustained strings and bass clarinet. Cello and harp groove.
  • m. 26-36: [C] Main theme 2nd statement. Lead piano. String arpeggios with increasing density. Clarinets and horns sustained background. Harp groove in 8ths and 16ths.
  • m. 37-44: [D] Transition. Meter 4/4. String section with lead in Vi 1+2, doubled in synthesizer string pad and horns. Piano and flute fills. Harp arpeggio groove. Crescendo build-up.
  • m. 45-69: [E] Waltz (return to 3/4 meter) 112 BPM. Contrasting section. Piano solo opening and closing. Contrasting bitonal theme in solo violin and synthesizer whistle lead. Waltz accents in pizzicato strings, woodwinds, horns and celesta. Dissonant climax in m. 58-59.
  • m. 70-82: [F] Transition, slower 76 BPM. Sustained strings, woodwinds, horn 1 and synthesizer vox pad. Viola and cello groove in 8ths. Crescendo build-up.
  • m. 83-94: [G] Main theme 3rd statement. Original tempo 68 BPM, new key Em. Tutti climax with lead theme in upper strings (violins and violas in parallel octaves), flute 1 and clarinet 1. Main theme variation for piano and harp. Descending countermelody in cellos and bassoon.
  • m. 95-105: [H] Waltz and coda, 104 BPM, key G#m. Return of bitonal contrasting theme in solo violin with piano accompaniment. Transposed repeat in celesta, glockenspiel and synthesizer whistle lead, with horns and woodwind background. Piano dissonant closing chords.

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