Night Music of the Witches – Volume 2 for Quartet of Oboe, Violin, Viola & Cello


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David Johnstone – Night Music of the Witches – Volume 2 for Quartet of Oboe, Violin, Viola & Cello
Movements 6-9 from Grand Suite of Nine Pieces based on the Witches of Zugarramurdi

PDF 1 – Score
PDF 2 – Oboe part
PDF 3 – Violin part
PDF 4 – Viola part
PDF 5 – Cello part


Instrumentation  Quartet: Oboe, Violin, Viola & Cello
Duration Performance time (full suite Vols 1 + 2) approx. 45′
Night Music of the Witches
The work is divided into 9 movements as follows:
1 Dusk  Awakening (introduction – largo)
2 The Dance of the Twelve Witches (vivo)
3 Adoration of the Eclipse (andantino)
4 ‘Popular’  Extract (danza popular)
5 The Traitor (moving, but not fast)
6 ‘Serious’  Extract (andante religioso)
7 The Searcing, the Capture and the Burning (finale: con fuoco – elegía)
8 The Awakening of the Souls (Epilogue I) ( fantasia)
9 The Awakening of the Souls (Epilogue II) (danza final)


Night Music of the Witches

‘Night Music of the Witches’, a grand suite of 9 movements, is an original and highly unusual work, based on the historically famous ‘Witches of Zugarramurdi’.  The so-called ‘witches’, actually more associated with homeopathy than witchcraft, were common in these parts, especially in the 16th century before the clamp-down took effect. The notoriety attained by these Zugarramurdi witches dates from 1610, when some four hundred local inhabitants, all supposedly practising witchcraft, were rounded up. Many of them were thought to ply their art in the beautiful caves of Zugarramurdi, open at both ends with a romantic brook running right through the middle. At the end of the trials, 18 were freed altogether, others were imprisoned or had their homes confiscated, and a final 12 (considered the real ringleaders) were later burnt to death or perished by choking in the fire. This was the last time that such an event took place on Spanish soil. In the following years, however, the villagers would hold annual processions, every August the 15th, to ward off any potential witches – hence the emergence of local ‘fiestas’ and all the attendant folklore associated with these events of 1610. Today, the ‘fiesta’ is a joyous occasion, celebrated by all the local inhabitants on this same day every August.

Taking this tragedy as a point of departure, David Johnstone’s music evokes the energy and the magical qualities inherent in Zugarramurdi. The composer, British by birth but almost ‘Navarre’ by adoption, has experienced moments of inspiration in these caves, and this full-scale work is his homage to Zugarramurdi. Though the music is popular in vein, and thus accessible to all, there are some modern classical touches that serve to captivate the listener with a passion and musical energy appropriate to the story. The full work lasts some 45 minutes, though any of the 9 constituent pieces may effectively be programmed for individual performance.


A note from David:

“If you wish to have a very professional quality copy of this music, set with high quality paper in a deluxe edition please contact the publisher CREIGHTON’S COLLECTION for a prompt delivery at an economical price – recommended for performance. It has a sharpness of image superior than you will find in the Johnstone-Music web shop”.

 [Creighton’s Collection
244 Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9JG, Wales, Great Britain
Tel. [+44] 29 2039 7711 (from within G.B. 029-2039-7711)
Or by Internet: / E-mail: tim/ at / ]



Welcome to Johnstone-Music! A big Anglo-Spanish web for MUSICIANS and especially CELLISTS – original music scores for orchestral instruments and keyboard. Plus articles, audios, videos, resources, catalogues, news etc. Official web of the professional cellist David Johnstone, principal cello Navarre Symphony Orchestra (Spain), chamber musician and soloist in many premieres. Hundreds of cello arrangements in the web for a symbolic charge of €1.00 per download or for free.

The following have taken his work onboard, sometimes with special collaborations as composer-arranger-performer: the Philadelphia Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi, Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela, Orchestre Nouvelle Generation de Montreal, the Gulbenkian Orchestra (Lisbon), Orchestra da Camera del Locarnese (Suiza), The Zagreb Soloists, the Saint Petersburg Musical Theatre “Zazerkalye” Chamber Orchestra, the Wroclaw Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum (Poland), Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra (New Zealand), Camerata Cambrensis (Basque country), Essener Philharmoniker (Germany), Ensemble Metamorphosis of Belgrade (Serbia), with Ara Malikian (Non Profit Music Chamber Orchestra – Madrid), and a long etc.. Currently, many courses, conservatoires and music schools, university String departments etc. use his repertoire; there are dozens of his arrangements on ‘You Tube’ …

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