Clarice Assad


(2023) Circus Fantasia


For Chamber Orchestra | 7 Minutes | Commissioned by Allentown Symphony
Amidst ever-changing times, the circus—a fascinating art form—always faces challenges, adapting gracefully to modernity. In the middle of competition from diverse entertainment forms, though it struggles to continue to thrive, it never truly dies; it simply evolves because of its need for survival. I grew up in rural Rio de Janeiro, where almost no culture or entertainment reached us. But the circus would always come to town and joyfully fill our young hearts by weaving dance, theater, and acrobatics into a chaotic canvas. Creative storytelling and awe-inspiring skills captivated a diverse audience, and I am grateful for these early years of my life. “Circus Fantasia,” a work for a chamber orchestra, unlocks the doors to this enchanting world almost lost in my childhood memories— The composition brims with playfulness and theatricality, extending a musical invitation to embark on a wondrous adventure in the circus ring. The piece encapsulates the spirit of an art form that defies the hands of time, inviting the listener to witness the essence of the circus—where dreams unfold, and imagination takes flight.
2 Flutes 2 Oboes 2 Bb Clarinets 2 Bassons 2 Horns in F 2 Trumpets in C Timpani  Percussion (1 player) Strings Percussion:
  • Tam Tam 
  • Triangle
  • Lion’s Roar
  • High-pitched clown horn
  • Cowbells
  • Slide whistle 
  • Flexatone
  • Drumset (muted bass drum, snare drum, crash, hi-hat, susp. Cymbal, sizzle cymbal, two toms, floor tom) 
  • Vibraphone
  • Glockenspiel 

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