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MBM Passionate Conducting

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TIMES

By FRANK TICHELI TIMOTHY BROEGE

RHYTHM GAMES SCORE ANALYSIS BY DR. KEITH KINDER

GREGORY B. RUDGERS

CENTRAL PARK SKETCHES SCORE ANALYSIS BY DR. JOHN A. DARLING

Presenting: Frank Ticheli’s List Part 4 Dr. Jeffrey D. Gershman’s Column

Above The Rest MICHAEL MARKOWSKI

ISSUE #6

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A Manhattan Beach Media Publication

I N T RO D U C I N G

bestmusic

s y s t e m FRANK TICHELI

REST SCORE ANALYSIS BY DR. JEFFREY D. GERSHMAN ALSO BY FRANK TICHELI

SAN ANTONIO DANCES

Joni Greene

NET LUCK SOARING

TIDAL FORCES & SHINE

ROCKET

JONI GREENE - PHOTO BY DAVID NEUSE

THREE SCORE ANALYSES ABOVE BY DR. ALAN LOURENS

SCORE ANALYSIS BY DR. ALAN LOURENS

SCORE ANALYSIS BY DR. MARC R. DICKEY

STEVE ROUSE


To Hear complete Recordings of Frank Ticheli’s Music Please visit www.FrankTicheli.com

Fr ank ticheli

ConCerto For Clarinet and wind ensemble

m a n h a t t a n

b e a c h

m u s i c

w w w. F r a nk Tic he l i . c o m w w w. M a nh at ta n Be a c h M u sic . c o m a l s o p u bli shed in versions f or Cl a r ine t & Pi a no , a nd Cl a r ine t & Or c hes tr a


Manhattan Beach Music Raising the Standards of the American Concert Band and Bands All Over the World

w w w. M a n h at ta n B e a c h M u s i c . c o m


M a n h a t t a n

B e a c h

M u s i c

is pleased to present

bestmusic s y s t e m

Now, for the first time, you can download and print substantial sections of MBM band sets, both score and par ts, to practice in the classroom and at home. BestMusic System is a new teaching aid to make a band director’s life more rewarding, and your student’s musical education broader, more satisfying, and more comprehensive. We invite all Band Directors and Students Worldwide to participate. What’s special about BestMusic System?

You’ll have unprecedented access to the music of Frank Ticheli, Bob Margolis, and many of Manhattan Beach Music’s premiere composers. No software to purchase and install. No fees, no registration, no hassle. Just start downloading score and parts today. It’s free.

Photo by Char lie Grosso

I am delighted that Manhattan Beach Music has selected my works to be among the first to be available for free digital downloads through Best Music System. MBM’s director, Bob Margolis, and I are working together to choose the music — often half (or more) of the complete work. There are no computer labs, no headphones, no microphones, no special software, and no subscription fees. Instead, you get concert band music, free, immediate, ready to play in your band rehearsals. I invite band directors and students from all over the world to use Best Music System, and download large excerpts of my scores and parts today. Frank Ticheli C o m p o se r

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www.bestmusicsystem.com


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INTRODUCING

BEST MUSIC SYSTEM GROU NDBR EA KING ACCESS TO P R I N T M U S I C

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STEVE ROUSE

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ROCKET L I N E O V E R M AT T E R GRADE 5

24 G R E G O RY B . RU D G E R S FRANK TICHELI

SAN ANTONIO DANCES THE TEX-MEX DANCE SUITE

C E N T R A L PA R K SKETCHES ALICE IN WONDERLAND GRADE 3

GRADE 4

28 D r. J E F F R E Y D. G E R S H M A N

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ABOVE THE REST JONI GREENE

NET LUCK SOARING

NEW AND RECOMMENDED WORKS

METICULOUS CRAFTSMANSHIP GRADE 4 M I C H A E L M A R KO W S K I

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TIDAL FORCES FRANK TICHELI

PA S S I O N AT E C O N D U C T I N G

BUTTERFLIES IN AFRICA GRADE 5

T H E H E A RT O F T H E M AT T E R

TIMOTHY BROEGE

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Cover photo by David Neuse

RHYTHM GAMES P O LY C H O R D S & M OT I O N GRADE 3


E D I T O R ’ S

V I E W

Editor-in-Chief, Neil Ruddy

Presenting BestMusic System

Let’s emphasize that the works featured in Frank Ticheli’s List and Above the Rest are music published by all publishers. Retailers should be confident in recommending any of the compositions represented in this issue. It has always been the goal of Manhattan Beach Music to raise the standards of the American concert band. We once again invite all retailers to hand out, to put on display, and to use this magazine as their own catalog. We recommend for your customers’ convenience that you sticker the name and logo and phone number of your store on the cover so your customers can order from you. This will show the music community that your store cares about the future of concert band music, and that your store is a purveyor of high quality music. Please e-mail us at customerservice@ manhattanbeachmusic.com, let us know the quantity of this issue you desire, and we will ship them to your store (US and Canada) at no charge. Elsewhere, please contact us for more information.

MBM 4

TIMES

Photo by Robert Bennett

This issue of MBM Times may be the most valuable issue yet, both for directors seeking the best concert band repertoire, and for music retailers wishing to help their customers choose better music. There are more score analyses and more reviews of music in this issue than in any of our previous issues. Containing part 4 of Frank Ticheli’s List (Frank Ticheli’s personal selection of concert band music) — now grouped according to grade level — and with an extended edition of Jeffrey Gershman’s “Above the Rest” column (his own selection of newlyreleased titles), Issue No. 6 of MBM Times becomes a signal resource for choosing concert band music. Band directors, please think of it as your personal guide, and retailers, please think of it as your store’s personal catalog of the best of the best.


Improving band repertoire has always been our primary mission, for we believe that the quality of the music that is taught and performed will ultimately decide what kind of musician students will become, and what kind of band director you will become. And for this reason we at Manhattan Beach Music are pleased to announce a new teaching aid: It’s called BestMusic System. It is a groundbreaking way for directors and students to have easy access to some of the most beautiful music ever written for concert band. Read more about it on page 2 of this issue. Enjoy! Neil Ruddy, Editor-in-Chief

bestmusic

s y s t e m™

M U S I C . C O M B E A C H

Like most businesses today we were concerned with what kind of impact this weak economy would have on our business and upon our sales. We braced ourselves and mentally prepared for a dramatic reduction in our sales, but to our amazement we soon realized that this did not occur. We started getting orders from stores who had never ordered from us before, and in many areas we saw the orders increase in frequency and size. Whatever the reasons for this, we are extremely grateful and humbled by this reception. Perhaps it’s the perceived quality of our editions (pardon the horn-tooting), and perhaps it’s that our music has real educational and artistic value.

42 M I C H A E L M A R KO W S K I

SHINE GRADE 3

46 FRANK TICHELI

REST GRADE 4

FRANK TICHELI’S LIST FRANK TICHELI’S PERSONAL SELECTION O F R E P E RTO I R E

M B M

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T I M E S

A Manhattan Beach Media Publication Neil Ruddy

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Managing and Copy Editor BOB MARGOLIS

M A N H A T T A N

To keep up with the demand for our music we are very pleased to inform all retailers that Manhattan Beach Music plans to soon announce the grand opening of our new distribution center, which will house the complete concert band repertoire of Frank Ticheli and our many fine composers. The distribution center will be able to satisfy retailer demand for timely fulfillment of orders.

Administrative Editor ANNETTE PALAZZO Contributing Writers DR. JOHN A. DARLING DR. MARC R. DICKEY DR. JEFFREY D. GERSHMAN DR. KEITH W. KINDER DR. ALAN LOURENS GREGORY B. RUDGERS DR. LAWRENCE STOFFEL Additional Graphics and Art Direction ROBERT BENNETT Authors and Advertisers may contact us at: editorial@mbmtimes.com and at advertising@mbmtimes.com

Copyright © 2012 Manhattan Beach Media. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written permission of Manhattan Beach Media. Frank Ticheli’s List™ and the Frank Ticheli’s List logo are trademarks of Manhattan Beach Music; the content of the individual reviews of Frank Ticheli’s List, as well as the Compilation comprising the titles that constitute Frank Ticheli’s List, are Copyright © 2008-2012 Manhattan Beach Music, and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher. Music examples by permission of Manhattan Beach Music. Pictured on the front cover, Joni Greene Photo by David Neuse

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�ran� �iche�i

photo by Charlie Grosso

S

CONC E R T B AN D G RA D E 4

AN AN T ON I O D ANC E S was composed as a tribute to a special city, whose captivating blend of Texan and Hispanic cultural influences enriched my life during my three years as a young music professor at Trinity University. It has been 20 years since I lived in San Antonio, but the city still tugs at my heartstrings and lives in this music.

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Frank Ticheli’s San Antonio Dances pays tribute to a city that has provided the

The first movement opens with a languid meandering melody in the clarinets, beau-

Dr. A�a� �o�rens

composer with vividly joyous memories. The two movements — one reflective, the

other bubbling with energy — are characteristically tuneful and artful, and the work as a whole should be held as a model to aspiring composers. Excellent in both craft and scoring, it will allow students to develop both artistically and technically. But, more interestingly (and less commonly), it both serves its educational purpose as well as achieving that elusive goal, being simply good music. While an understanding of the program behind the title is useful, like many of the best works it can also be heard as a work of absolute music. The two movements, we are informed by the composer, are based on his memories of his time in San Antonio. The first is a “seductively serene” painting of Alamo Gardens. The second is more programmatic: “Picture a group of friends” says Ticheli in his program notes “seated at an outdoor patio...enjoying the scenery, the food the company. In time...the crowd picks up and music is heard from every direction!”

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tifully presented in their chalumeau register, set against a light marimba, bassoon and string bass accompaniment (though

cued into the baritone and tenor saxophone parts as well). Immediately we fall into a light “tango”. For me, this should be played with a slight glint the eye. Indeed, the

composer describes this as having a certain “Rose-in-the-

ment, but with an added flute line. It feels that the malaise

to the alto saxophone, but only briefly before the clarinets

mouth” quality, and surely this melody should bring a smile

to the face of the listener. We immediately hear the melody

into the ensemble for this first section. When we do get a

again — same register for the clarinets, similar accompanibrought upon by the warm San Antonio weather reaches greater change — at bar 19 — Ticheli hands the melody return and we move into the B section. In a suite such as this, we would expect a slow movement at the opening. That Ticheli has given us a tango (a “slight tango” in his words) has a lovely feel: a sense of

Example 1. San Antonio Dances Movement 1 Opening

&

43

? b b 43

q = c66

Sempre legato

Clarinets

œ. œ œ Œ

œ œœœœœœ œ œ œ œœœœœœ #œ œ œ œ

‰. r œ œ œ . œ œJ

Stg Bass, B Cl, Bssn

œœ # œ

œœœœœœ œ œ œ œœœœœ œ œ œœœ

&

œ.

? bb

‰. r Nœ œœ œœ œ. œ #œ J

‰.

‰. r œ œ œ œ . œ œJ œ œ

‰. r œ œ œ œ . œ Jœ œ œ

œ

rœ œ œ œœ œ. J

˙ œ œ˙. .

j œ

œ. œ

œ œ œ ‰.

rœ œœ œ # œ œ œ J œ œ. œ ˙

j œ

œ‰ J

‰. r œ ‰. r œ rœ œ œ œ œ œ œ #œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ . . J œ. J

‰.

7


subtle movement, yet with much bubbly energy unstated; a slight feeling of expectation, but

San A�toni

no sense of rushing forward; a moment to savor. In his comprehensive notes accompanying the score, Ticheli includes an outline of the structure. In any case, the ternary form (ABA) of this movement should be evident to most listeners and performers, and as we enter the B section we hear great change. The B section is almost double the length of the A section (at 53 bars to around 28), and both the mood and the key change. The initial clarinet entry in this section, in thirds in an almost mariachi-like melody of alternating duple and triple beats, is warm and dark. The entry of the flute and vibraphone with a B-flat against the B-natural of the clarinets creates the tension that underlines the change that has already arrived, and is to come. It jars us from our lovely complacency, but only for a brief period. Having settled us into a lovely G major tonality (from our previous g minor), Ticheli Ex 2 San Antonio Dances Movement 1, B Theme

28

b 2 &b 4

+ Flute & Vib.

Œ Aœ œ # œœ œ œ n œœ .. œœ œœ œœ œœ # œœ n œœ œœ œœ œœ n œ œœ œ œœ œœ n œœ œ # œœ œœ n œœ œœ œœ Clarinets

3

3

3

? b b 42 œœ .. œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ .. œœ œœ

œœ .. œœ œœ

Bssn

3

œ

œ ‰ œœ n œœ n œœ œœ J

3

œœ .. œœ œœ

œ

œœ .. œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ .. œœ œœ 3

œ œœ # œœ œœ 3

œœ .. œœ œœ

œ nœ b œ #œ œ œ n˙ & b # œœ œœ œœ œœ n œœ # œœ n œœ œœ œœ œœ œ n œœ œœœ # œœ œœ ˙œ # œœ n œœ œ œœ n œ œ œ œ n œ œœ œ œ # œœ n œ œ n # n ˙˙˙ œ 3 ? b b œœ .. œœ œœ

œœ .. œœ œœ

3

3

œœ .. œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ .. œœ œœ

3

3

œœ .. œœ œœ

3

n n ˙˙

immediately breaks our expectation with a big E major chord at bar 40. This substitution (which retains the B natural in the melody) creates the gentle instability that marks this section. Having signaled his intentions, Ticheli moves us inexorably towards a climax at bar 63, some twenty further bars away. In his notes provided with the score, Ticheli indicates that the music leads us to “...a powerful climax depicting the Alamo itself.” Although the climax is well written, it will take some control to pace the ensemble through the intervening measures. Ticheli layers-in the brass, first by choir and only later as a whole, and includes a “written out” tenuto at m. 51 and 59 to heighten the tension. It will take effort for a young group to hold the climax until bar 63 where, for the first time in the piece, all forces join in a powerful statement (including some lovely writing for the horns and saxes in 66–67). In its pacing it

8

M a n h a t t a n

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io Danc�

reminds one of the wonderful tension created by the middle of the same composer’s setting of “Amazing Grace,” but in a much different context. Mature conductors and maturing ensembles will likewise enjoy this section a great deal. In winding us down to the repeated A section, Ticheli features the woodwind, as you would expect. The duplet/triplet idea continues to hold sway as we head back to the tango for the close of the first movement. In his notes, Ticheli highlights that the burden of the melodic material is carried heavily by the first and second clarinets in this movement. It proves to be they who recapitulate the tango at the close. It is a sweet movement, yet redolent of the dance in the work’s name. Even at piano with sweeping lines, a dance-like quality emerges at all times. The second movement, Tex-Mex on the Riverwalk, is much more overtly fun. While the opening movement of San Antonio Dances has a reminiscent quality, the second movement is about today. The humor is here — rhythmic jousting, melodic lines, a little bit of bombast (in his notes Ticheli highlights three places where the “timpanist can pound at

will, throwing caution to the wind!”), some “wrong-note” wit, and glissandi from trumpets, trombones and horns. Beginning with a very steady 3/4 (quarter note = 120), Ticheli immediately subverts the rhythm with a duplet feel in the saxes. This 4:3 bar (at bar 10) will appear many times in this movement. It is impossible not to hear echoes of Copland in this movement, which I guess only emphasizes the ability of great composers to capture the style of a genre. Ex 3 San Antonio Dances Movement 2 Opening

1

# & 43

∑

∑

A. Sax

Œ œœ œœ

∑

∑

œœ ..

œœ œœ .. œœ J

? b b 43 œj ‰ œ ‰ j ‰ œj ‰ ‰ œ ‰ j œj ‰ œ ‰ j ‰ œj ‰ ‰ œ ‰ j œj ‰ œ ‰ j ‰ œj ‰ ‰ œ ‰ j J œ J œ J œ J œ J œ J œ B Cl

# & œœ ..

œœ ..

œœ

œœ

œœ

˙˙

œœ

œœ .. œœ .. œœ .. œœ .. œ œ

˙˙

? b b œj ‰ œ ‰ j ‰ œj ‰ ‰ œ ‰ j œj ‰ œ ‰ j ‰ œj ‰ ‰ œ ‰ j œj ‰ œ ‰ j ‰ J œ J œ J œ J œ J œ As the work progresses, Ticheli’s playfulness emerges. There are staccato entries of sixteenth notes that will test the euphonium, trumpet, saxes and bassoons. There are sudden interruptions at m. 41, 57 and 137, as the composer points out. Indeed, at bar 57 the band is playing fff following a buildup that includes horn, trombone, sax and

M a n h a t t a n

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euphonium glissandi, an almost tutti ff at m. 59 leading, with-

ductor. Fortunately this work doesn’t require any jarring judge-

out preparation, to pp at m. 65 and a flute solo.

ments. In this case at least, the Emperor’s New Clothes are in-

It is above all the playfulness of this movement that makes it work. Of course it is well written and carefully constructed. However, the construction is subjugated by the idea of the fiesta, the carnival that is the fun of this movement. It is a series of events, some loud like a crowd crying out, some soft and reflective like a person sitting in a cafe; some with great bonhomie and laughing, others introverted and contemplative. There are moments that require good technical proficiency and strong playing from the woodwind family in particular. There will need to be some experimentation with glissandi for the valved brass, and you will hear some outstanding writing for the percussion. It would be easy to overblow the close of this work. However, for a mature director and ensemble, it will offer great reward and fun. Reviewing a work by Frank Ticheli is, by its nature, a daunting task. He is a well respected and notable composer whose body of work includes several masterworks. As a reviewer, my view is from the sidelines and both as a performer and con-

A B O U T

O U R

DR. JOHN A. DARLING is currently an Associate Professor of Music at Bismarck State College where he is responsible for conducting the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and all chamber groups. He also teaches Instrumental Conducting, Theory, and technology classes. He stays active as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator throughout the upper Midwest. He is an Associate Member of the Board of Directors for the International Music Camp where he teaches during the summer sessions, and serves as the National Band Association State Chair for North Dakota. His composition, West River Jubilee, is now available through Alfred Publishing. He is a regular contributing author to the Journal of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE), and MBM Times.

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deed magnificent; or at least very well crafted and very musical. Within the technical limitations (a solid grade 4) the composer places on himself, Ticheli has created another outstanding work for band. Tuneful, interesting, and bereft of any the special effects and extended bombast that has become the staple of many less gifted and uninspired composers, San Antonio Dances still offers the listener a voyage of discovery. This work will be easily within the grasp of very good ensembles; it is a work they should play. It is also a very solid work for a younger band. The musical content is high, the musical challenges are many, yet the technical challenges from the entire group are not unreasonable. It is most strongly a work of charm and wit. Here we find a mature composer placing some major technical obstacles in his own way, and then winding around them with great ease and élan. It is a journey we have made with him before, yet one that is very satisfying. It is to be expected that Ticheli would produce a work that students will enjoy playing and conductors will enjoy rehearsing. This, however, is also a work that audiences will enjoy hearing. E

A U T H O R S Dr. Marc R. Dickey is Chair of the Music Department and oversees the instrumental music teacher training program at California State University, Fullerton, where he has taught since 1988. He has conducted the CSU Fullerton Symphonic Winds for more than ten years. His research has been published in the Journal of Research in Music Education and the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education. He has served as a member of a Music Subject Matter Advisory Panel to the Commission of Teacher Credentialing of the State of California, and has adjudicated bands throughout the U.S. and Canada. He was one of the youngest conductors to be awarded the NBA’s Citation of Excellence.


Dr. Jeffrey D. Gershman is the Associate Director of Bands at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he conducts the Symphonic Band and teaches courses in undergraduate music education and wind band literature and graduate conducting. He is an active guest conductor and concert band clinician and a frequent guest lecturer at state and national conventions. Also an accomplished arranger, his band transcriptions include works by John Corigliano and Frank Zappa. DR. KEITH KINDER is Professor of Music and Director of the School of the Arts at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, where he conducts the concert band and the chamber orchestra, leads the Music Education program and teaches courses in conducting and music education. As a recognized expert in wind literature and performance, he presents regularly at conferences worldwide. He is the author of Best Music for Chorus and Winds (Manhattan Beach), The Wind and Wind-Chorus Music of Anton Bruckner (Greenwood), and Prophetic Trumpets: Homage, Worship and Celebration in the Wind Band Music of Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt (Pendragon). Dr. Alan Lourens is coordinator of Wind and Brass Studies at the University of Western Australia, where he directs the Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and Brass Ensemble, as well as teaching conducting, instrumental pedagogy and music education. He has been heard nationally on Australian radio, and is in demand as a conductor and teacher of conducting throughout Australia and Asia; he is also active in the Brass Band movement in Australia, both as a conductor and soloist. Dr. Lourens holds a Doctorate in Conducting and Masters degree in Euphonium Performance from Indiana University, where he studied conducting with Ray E. Cramer and Euphonium with Daniel Perantoni, M. Dee Stewart and Harvey G. Phillips. In 2008, Dr. Lourens was made a Fellow of the prestigious UK-based Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in recognition of his contribution to the development of the arts internationally. GREGORY B. RUDGERS, after a successful career in public school music, now serves on the adjunct faculty of Ithaca College in New York State where he teaches in the music education department. He has written articles for The Instrumentalist, the Music Educator’s Journal, Teaching Music, and several state jour-

M a n h a t t a n

nals. He is also a published composer with works for band, wind ensemble, string orchestra, and chamber ensembles produced by several prominent publishers, the most recent of which from Manhattan Beach Music is Central Park Sketches, reviewed in this issue. He has enjoyed success as a clinician/guest conductor, having served in that capacity at both the public school and university levels for over one hundred festivals. DR. LAWRENCE STOFFEL is Director of Bands at California State University, Northridge (Los Angeles), where he serves as conductor of both the internationally-recognized Wind Ensemble and the Wind Symphony. As an associate professor of music, he teaches courses in music education and conducting, as well as being the coordinator of wind studies. He is author of A Discography of Concert Band Recordings on Compact Disc: Promoting the Artistry of Band Composition (Edwin Mellen Press) and has been published and lectured on topics wide-ranging—from musical interpretation to band transcriptions, from the use of religious music in the public schools to band in the school curriculum, from copyright law to band discography. DR. FRANK TICHELI is in his 21st year as Professor of Composition at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music. His orchestral works have been performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Dallas Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, the radio orchestras of Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Saarbruecken, and Austria, and many others. Ticheli is the winner of the 2006 NBA/ William D. Revelli Memorial Band Composition Contest for his Symphony No. 2. Other awards include the Charles Ives and the Goddard Lieberson Awards, both from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Walter Beeler Memorial Prize, and First Prize awards in the Texas Sesquicentennial Orchestral Composition Competition, Britten-on-the-Bay Choral Composition Contest, and Virginia CBDNA Symposium for New Band Music. He is a national honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and he was named by the American School Band Directors Association as the 2009 recipient of the A. Austin Harding Awa.rd, bestowed to individuals “who have made exceptional contributions to the school band movement in America.”

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“The journey of this composition is in many ways a reflection of my own experience of Net himself.”

Joni Greene

Photo by David Neuse

12

CONC E R T B AN D G RA D E 4


Net Luck Soarin� There is no paucity of works written by motivic nature of the work. In a manner composers to honor the lives of others. reminiscent of Brahm’s Developing by Witness Beethoven’s inscription (and Variations (as described by Alfred hurried removal) to Napoleon for his Einstein), Greene presents fragments third symphony, the funeral marches for that later coalesce into a larger motif. The Rikard Nordraak and Carl Maria von Weber Dr. Alan Lourens example given in the front of the score by Grieg and Wagner (respectively), or in is the transformation that occurs with the wind repertoire from Camphouse (Movement for Rosa) to I the opening fragment (bar 6–8) in the saxophones, and a later Am by Andrew Boysen, Jr. longer motif in the horns (37–43) (see example 1). Few of these kinds of works are written during the lifetime of the person so honored. Particularly for commissioned works, on few occasions has the composer had the time to develop a relationship with the honoree, to learn about them and reflect on their characteristics before writing the work.

The relationship between the fragment and the motif is obvious to the eye, and to the ear even more so. This is carefully crafted music in which a concentrating listener is rewarded with examples that emerge, mirage-like, from the colorful canvas. In outlining both the form and the method of composition, Greene points us to a neat ternary form, with a middle Trio sandwiched between the main theme. Along the way, we have a number of motivic elements that combine to give the work a primary theme.

Net Luck Soaring is such a work. It was written in honor of Noppanut Lucksanawichian (Net Luck to those that knew him) by Joni Greene after a commission from the Leander High School band parents, who raised the money through community events It received its world premiere with Net present (and playing clarinet in the band) on May 19th, 2011, less than a month before his death in June. Greene was fortunate to be able to take time to get to know Net and his family. The result is a wistful and reflective, quietly celebratory work, full of flowing harmonies and rich in texture. As Net played the clarinet and percussion, these instruments feature prominently. As his sister plays flute, there is a lovely duet for flute and clarinet. In her helpful introduction to the work, Greene outlines the

Opening at a slow tempo (quarter note = 58) with solo clarinet, Greene immediately sets about hiding the meter. As in much

Example 1: Motivic Development Measures 6-8

A. Saxophone

#œ #œ œ œ 4 &4

#œ œ. œ œ #œ œ

œ œ J .

3

Measure 37-43

Horn in F

& 44 œ F

œœœ œ œ œ 3

& 43 œ b œ œJ œ .

M a n h a t t a n

œ

44 b œ- œ - œ- ˙ f 3

B e a c h

œ

œ ˙. p

œ œ. œ œ Œ J œ œ œ

Œ

b œ- œ- œ œ œ œ œ ˙ . -

43

3

M u s i c

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of the work, the barline is hidden with ties, thereby giving the piece more of a “floating” feel in keeping with the title. The first entries in the saxes and horn are off the beat. A less self-assured composer may have introduced more “bitty” time signatures, (such as 3/8, 5/8), but Greene simply leaves the sub-dividing to the performing musician. This, along with not infrequent time signature changes, often gives the work a kind of “pulseless” feel in which the listener is carried forward by the harmony rather than by a rhythmic driver. Within the first few measures we encounter a number of percussion instruments. wind chimes, vibraphone (both bowed and struck), glockenspiel and suspended cymbal all appear within the first 10 bars. The writing for percussion of Greene is particularly effective; and though later in the work they will become a real feature, in the beginning they provide textural counterpoint to the sustained sound of the winds (see example 2).

By the third bar we begin to see the pyramid-like building of the harmonies. This idea, a stacking of melodies to create often dissonant harmonies, is one that Greene employs throughout the work — to as far as the second-to-last measure (as in example 2). Indeed, this idea of little pyramids of sound, stacking upon one another, is one that is quite prominent in the outer sections of the work as a whole. By bar 9, the entire brass section develop a harmonic stack across a single bar (see example 3). The light scoring continues, with a solo oboe leading Example 2: Clarinet Harmonic Stacking towards a moment for Bar 5 the upper woodwinds. 3 3 This is mezzoforte, which &4 œ œ œ ˙˙ is the loudest dynamic J to date. Greene’s scoring 3 and dynamics continue to show great restraint, asking every musician to contribute both beautiful and soft sounds until bar 19, where we have a miniclimax. Greene hear begins to consolidate the theme with an upward gesture. A nod to the heavens that reiterates the “soaring” nature of the music, strongly imitative, ascending and getting faster, moving first to eighth notes and then sixteenths. A feature of the work, and here in particular, is the sparseness of the bass line. Greene often places the

14

M a n h a t t a n

lowest sound in the tenor register, and also commonly in the treble register. This builds the feeling of tension in the music that does much to frame the “relief ” offered by bass notes when they appear. The sweeping gestures carry us forward and upward, faster now and more insistence, toward the first long melody we have in the work at 27. Supported now by a strong bass line (at least for a few measures), and with great support from the saxes, the clarinet offers us a simple melody at bar 29. However, even in this simplicity, Greene hides the bar, again introducing the rhythmic ambiguity that underlies much of the work. The melody, though presented as a 4-bar fragment, resumes after two beats to become a complete nine bars, the first such long idea we Example 3: Brass Stacking mm. 9-10 have in the (Transposed) Ó work. Even Œ ‰ œ ˙˙ Trumpets & 44 Ó here, Greene J Ó breaks up the Œ Ó Ó melody with Horns œ ˙ & 44 Ó oboe and ‰ œ. ˙ Ó saxophone Ó ˙ ˙ Ó ?4 interjections. Low Brass 4 œ ˙ ˙

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After 37 bars of hints and nudges, we finally hear all of the primary theme in its entirety (see example 1 before). Accompanied by a rich, dark low brass, the melody resounds through the ensemble. The sudden addition of a forte at 41 adds drama to the rich tapestry. Greene continues to present a variety of color; melodic fragments appear in the saxes, flutes, oboes, horns and trombones in the ensuing bars. At 48 we hear what Greene describes as the “soaring” motif. We have had sixteenth-notes previously, and they have hinted at the descending motif that we eventually encounter here (see example 4). This motif marks the codetta of the first section. Greene presents the motif in a variety of forms, and highly imitatively as it descends through the ensemble until we come to a kind of rest at 56. The marimba and vibraphone, and later glockenspiel provide a stable and regular basis for the trio, the “B” section for our ternary form. As the name might suggest, this section has the clarinet, flute and percussion in a trio. These are the instruments played by Net and his sister. Rather than the short phrases we have previously heard, in this section Greene gives us long phrases and, as the anchor for the section, many long notes in the clarinet.

B e a c h

M u s i c


Ne�Luc� Soarin�

This is a sparsely scored but extremely pretty section. Interjections follow — long sighs in the with brass chords, and the reintroduction of the “soaring” idea as we transition back to the original motif.

At 73 Greene gives us a single 5/4 bar — the only such measure in the work, which is the point at which the soaring motif and the opening motif are crafted together. It’s a clever transition much like the visual melding or the changing of one idea into another. This heart of the work is, in many ways, the most [Title] Score rhythmically stable point of the music. It brings the work to a focal point.

Example 4: The "Soaring" motif (Piccolo, mm 47-48)

œ œ œ œ bœ œ œ œ bœ œ œ œ œ œ. . . . b œ œ œ œ œ œ 44 & 43 Œ 3 3 P It is not the musical climax of the work, but it is the emotional core. This all too brief middle section is followed by a return to the motivic connections of the opening section. Here we see Greene taking us through all of the previous material — the Primary motif and more prominently (given its rhythmic energy) the soaring motif. The ascending sixteenth notes, underlined by great pyramids we first encountered in the opening, possess great power. Greene pushes us through a series of upward gestures from bar 85 onwards, urging us forward, but never pushing too hard. The final upward gesture is, of course, the clarinet, offering us a positive if lone voice at the end of an uplifting journey. As a celebration of life, Net Luck Soaring succeeds in embodying much that is great about music. Lovingly crafted and meticulously prepared, it offers both the listener and the performer both a cerebral and emotional journey. Its construction is thoughtful and well considered. The fragments that appear initially grow into recognizable themes, whilst the middle sections gives us

M a n h a t t a n

a satisfying melody with an enchanting accompaniment. The composer asks of us so much more, however. In creating this work, Greene has tried to offer insight into something of the human condition. Tribute works of this kind usually fall into two categories; those that celebrate the life, and those that recognize the grief of those left behind. There are outstanding examples of both; Tichelli’s An American Elegy, and John Barnes Chance’s Elegy are just two of the genre that often requires the performers to wear their heart on their sleeves.

[Composer]

Joni Greene’s Net Luck Soaring is not quite such a work. It requires both restraint and emotiveness. It asks the musicians for thoughtful and beautiful playing. It requires the director to understand the work. Long lines are built through short fragments; short fragments become long motifs, and long motifs become glorious phrases. Of course almost all of us who come into contact with this work will not have known Net Luck. This portrait, born of the friendship and love of a community, and presented to a living honoree is uplifting and positive. This is a piece not easily navigated, but it will offer great reward for effort. The scoring demands concentration and patience from young musicians. Single notes (often whole or half notes) mean a great deal to this work. It does not drive forward with the manic energy of a syncopated ostinato, but is pushed forward though the application of gentle energy and harmonic subtlety. It is an extraordinary work. Emotional but not overpowering. Technical, but accessible. Motivic but well constructed. Above all it is thoughtful and, if well played, a powerful expression of the best in us all. The loss of a young life is a wrenching experience. The creation of art, even great art, is inadequate as a trade. Joni Greene has created an outstanding work. In the hands of outstanding conductors the chance to again make Net Luck soar. E

B e a c h

M u s i c

15


Passionate Conducting

W

hile visiting my doctor recently, we struck up a conversation about music. He seemed genuinely fascinated, even envious about my life as a musician. He’d once been a music major, but over time his college band director managed to drain all his enthusiasm.

Photo by Charlie Grosso

The Heart of the Matter

intentioned mentors? What can we do personally to make our rehearsals more inspiring? What do we need to succeed in music in the first place? Passion vs. enthusiasm

When asked about his secrets for finding talented young conductors, Ernest BY Fleishmann, the sometimes prickly, onetime “He spent half of the rehearsal time tuning us, and F RANK executive director of the Los Angeles the other half browbeating us.” Philharmonic Orchestra, claimed that he T I CH E L I reminded himself of one simple thing, And so he became a doctor, but despite his evident “The world doesn’t need any more boring success, he still expressed regret over his decision to conductors!” When pressed further, he assured his audience that abandon music as a career. he did not mean to suggest that he sought conductors merely for Tuning has its place their flashy charisma with over-the-top choreography and glitzy I’ve thought long about his recollections of his unpleasant stick gestures. For him, it was all about passion as an inner force experiences in rehearsal, because I’ve never understood those who expressed outwardly—a kind of inner fire that could inspire devote abundant rehearsal time tuning an ensemble as though others in rehearsals and concerts. it’s a separate part of the rehearsal. This gives a false impression. It tells the players in effect that now, after focusing all this time on tuning, we are finally in tune. But the reality is that tuning is something that should take place throughout a rehearsal. It never stops. It is a constant act, and the main responsibility lies with the player, not the conductor or the machine. I realize that most young players do not yet have the skills to handle this responsibility by themselves. And I am not saying that intonation problems will fix themselves over time if the conductor stays out of the way. It is, of course, not okay to play out of tune. But it’s also never too early for young players to learn that intonation is not something that someone or some thing fixes for them.Thinking about my doctor’s musical derailment, I wondered how many other souls have been damaged by well-

16

Allow me to distinguish between passion and enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm is fine. It says, “Yes! I love music. Isn’t it amazing? Let’s have fun!” It is important, and I believe in it, especially when it comes to young musicians. Kids need to see adults unafraid to express their excitement about music and life. But passion is something that lies deeper within. Leonard Bernstein had both. Certainly, he could be enthusiastic on the podium. With him it was often a matter of almost grabbing a work by the throat and re-creating it live; see for example the video of Bernstein conducting Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony. (Go to www.YouTube.com, search for “London Symphony Orchestra, 1967, Bernstein” to hear a 51-second excerpt from the performance of Shostakovich Symphony No. 5; note that there are posts for both the “Performance,” which I refer to here, and for the “Rehearsal.”)


Surprise vs. predictability Players stay more engaged when they can’t predict exactly what will happen in the next minute or hour of a rehearsal. This topic has always fascinated me. Composers and conductors alike must walk a kind of tightrope between predictability and surprise. When I am composing a work, I ask myself lots of questions: Is there a sense of inevitability where every note follows some clear, authentic pathway? But is that pathway also adorned with occasional surprises—an unexpected modulation, a witty interruption, a shocking twist? Are there too many surprises? Too few? My former teacher, William Bolcom, taught me the importance of surprising listeners without losing them. Too few surprises and we bore, too many and they cease to be surprises at all. Mozart was a master at this. His sonata forms followed convention, but only to a certain point. More often than not, he deviated from what we might call textbook sonata form just enough to tantalize—a new theme in the “wrong” place, an unexpected modulation in the recapitulation, a new harmonic progression—all without ever losing the listener. It’s all a balancing act

it’s the same. It’s the context of a crescendo or a point of tension, the reason a line is ascending, where and why it’s ascending. As a composer, I prefer those conductors who don’t ignore the details, but who use them to enhance the bigger picture. It’s really all about inspiration, and to that end, our heads and hearts must constantly keep one another in check. Show me a piece created purely from whatever compositional system drove it, and I’ll show you tedium. On the other hand, ignore technique, architecture, and well conceived organic connections, and you will likely create a shallow, short-lived work.

Every player is important at some point in a piece, and they appreciate it when their importance is acknowledged.

For conductors, too, this balancing act is important, especially in rehearsals. Players gain comfort and confidence from a certain regimen—a sense that they are all part of a familiar ritual whose goal is the same as it has always been: to make good music. But routine alone will not hold players’ hearts and minds. When they begin to predict what’s coming next, it may be time to throw them a curve ball. Rehearse a piece backwards or from the inside out; suddenly pull out a new piece to sight read; rehearse a loud passage as softly as possible; play a staccato passage in legato fashion; or do the opposite: play only the attack points of a legato passage. It’s fun, for example, to play the notes of Irish Tune from County Derry without any sustain value; it changes the music entirely; it can reveal sloppy rhythmic alignments; it wakes up players; and it’s simply different. The Devil in the Details We all love the Brooklyn Bridge, the Sydney Opera House, the Empire State Building. We can move in close to admire their details—the bricks, the beams, the mortar. But we also know that what makes these structures great is not their details by themselves, but the way in which they are combined. In music,

What does this have to do with conductors? Well, to be frank, we may sometimes need to sacrifice technical progress if our obsession on details hinders inspiration. Said another way, don’t fix things just for the sake of fixing them. I made this mistake back in 1987 during my first college interview, where I was being considered for a position teaching composition and directing the wind ensemble. Despite my youthful apprehensions, the interview went fairly well. It went well, that is, until it came time to rehearse the wind ensemble. Just before I mounted the podium, a search committee member advised, “please Frank, don’t just conduct the group; we want to see you rehearse in a very detailed and demanding way.”

I followed that person’s advice, stopping a lot, demanding a lot, but not getting very far into the work. In a flash, I had lost the players—no rehearsal flow, no inspiration, no passion. I didn’t get that job, nor should I have, because I abandoned what I had originally planned to do, what we all should plan to do in rehearsals: keep the players inspired! Instead, I was pedantic, unyielding...boring. Don’t Conduct the Band Well, not the entire band. Conducting the whole band dehumanizes the players and conductor alike. I cannot stress this point strongly enough. We should spend most of our podium time communicating with individuals and small groups. We need to make direct eye contact with every single player at some point in every rehearsal. We don’t do this to be touchy-feely; we do it because the music itself, if it is good music, demands it of us. Every player is important at some point in a piece, and they appreciate it when their importance is acknowledged. This issue always reminds me of the development section of my Amazing Grace. Those who have the most trouble with it tend

17


to be those who fail to conduct individuals. The development section is all about individual entrances. It begins with the horns, followed by the clarinets, then the flutes. Next come the oboe, the saxophones, then the trombones, and so on. I could easily draw a series of dotted lines on the score through the entire section, moving from one entering group to another. And that is just what conductors must do in that section: move from one group to another.

(To see this video, go to www.YouTube.com, and search for “Gustavo Dudamel in Rehearsal,” and watch the 1 min. 7 sec. video from 60 minutes “...Dudamel rehearses the LA Philharmonic on his first day as music director.”)

Even at climaxes where everybody is playing, we can and should focus on one small group here, one player there. Maybe there is a horn rip on beat two, a cymbal crash on beat four. My point is simple. Stop conducting the whole band. Liberate thyself!

So...

Best of all, you will find that by looking at individuals more often, they will begin to look back at you too. Do More, Say Less As conductors we are always doing three things: 1. imagining the sounds we want to hear 2. listening to the sounds the ensemble is actually playing, and 3. reacting to those sounds. It’s that third activity, reacting, or more specifically, how we are reacting, that most fascinates me.Reacting without stopping the music is something conductors don’t do often enough. A smile, a frown, or nod or shake of the head, a sudden flat hand gesture when something is too loud, a thumbs up signal—the list is infinite—all can be achieved without stopping, and all can be more effective than actual words. Of course, we can also speak real words to them without stopping the music—that is, when players can actually hear us. (It rarely works to speak directly to the players who are still playing.) For example, imagine that the flutes are just finishing a quiet passage, handing it over to the clarinets. Now is your chance to say, “Flutes, in measure 61, the C-natural is sharp. Could you mark that please?” Now imagine that same scene again, this time with you stopping the music to make your point. Sure it works this way too, but which approach is more efficient, more compelling? By occasionally making a point without stopping the music, you sharpen the rehearsal pace and galvanize the players. (Sir Thomas Beecham was a master at this.) Of course, sometimes we simply have to stop the music to make a point, but even then we can do so without words. Sing more. Talk less. There is a fascinating video of conductor Gustavo Dudamel in his very first rehearsal with the LA Philharmonic— fascinating not for what he says, but for what he doesn’t say. He gestures, sings, and even grunts what he wants from the players rather than describing his requests in words. The players all seem to understand him perfectly.

18

Choose your words to inspire, not instruct Finally, when you do need to stop and speak real words, consider whether your words will motivate the players or just instruct them. It is easy to instruct, not so easy to inspire. Instead of saying, “Play shorter here,” say: “Play shorter notes, like little droplets of rain falling, so that you sound more like the claves, who just played this rhythm before you.” Instead of “Add a crescendo here,” say: “I know there is no crescendo indicated here, but listen to where the music is taking us; it’s as though we are just beginning to see some light, some epiphany, and we are dying to tell somebody about it.” Instead of “Bring out the dissonance here,” say: “Bring out the dissonance as though you are sharing your very own sadness...pain...anger...confusion” [whatever the dissonance seems to be expressing to you at the time]. Instead of “Let’s accelerate much more at the end,” say, “Let’s accelerate more to make the ending sound less safe, more dangerous, more terrifying, more out of control.” [The ending of Vesuvius comes to mind.] Guiding principles I guess what I’m trying to get across is this: There are certainly conductors out there who instruct but don’t inspire, who fix things but don’t make them sing and dance, who feel emotions but don’t share them, and who have forgotten the true meaning of music, who have forgotten that, as musicians, we are simply in the business of making beauty. Indeed, we are all guilty of these transgressions on occasion, and for that reason, we have to constantly remind ourselves why we got into music in the first place. Speaking of such reminders, here’s one more video of Mr. Dudamel, conducting young musicians in a performance of Shostakovich’s 10th symphony, a performance that says everything much more powerfully than any words I can write. (To see this video, go to www.TED.com, search for “Gustavo Dudamel,” and select “Gustavo Dudamel leads El Sistema’s top youth orchestra” and hear a 17 min. 2 sec. performance of the final movement of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10, live in Feb. 2009 from Caracas, Venezuela. The same video is also on YouTube.) Frank Ticheli is a composer and Professor of Composition at the USC Thornton School of Music


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19


CON C E RT BA N D G R A D E 5

, ion t c se ld tty t cou , e r yp tha ather ver line a . R nic c us odi here armo ul s l r e m ffe ed ng h autif e o e trite plac h be nes ovi h o h n g m t h e u lly op be slow he ho get qua e sax in t ’s Alt ever have e a n th or ial we asily lores some in ter nduct a ” p e e m co so se ex — ton dic b u he o u l s t e o e “ g R t ith gua g m d (a n lan ing w ppin r la s a sco over oboe . s and inets, flute ) r cla etion cr dis

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years have seen a profusion of vigorous, exciting works for young bands, all aimed at starting programs with a jolt. These works often feed the desire of players to practice their extreme

dynamic levels (particularly the loud sections) and occasionally leave the audience reaching for some sort of painkiller. But Rocket

by Steve Rouse is not such a work. Although vigorous and exciting, it is also thoughtful, well constructed and well scored. Its title is derived from his reference to both the “Mannheim Rocket” and the “Mannheim Crescendo”, two important compositional ideas from the late 18th century. Based on these ideas it may be, but even a casual listener will not confuse Rouse with Mozart. The work more reflects twentieth-century composers, and to my ears draws upon the stylistic influences of American composers such as Bernstein and, in its use of extended tertian chords, Persichetti. In his comprehensive notes, Rouse outlines a kind of Ternary form, with A B A being three large sections, and within that a b c a b. Interspersed, according to the composer’s analysis, is an X theme which is composed of transitional and introductory material.Thus the form would be as below. (Note that only the top 2 lines are supplied by the composer): Section:

X

A

X

B

X

C

A1

B1

X

Coda

Bar:

1

7

42

47

96

102

139

151

178

182

A 20

B

A

(Coda)

w w w . M A N H A T T A N B E A C H M U S I C . c o m


S T E V E The X theme is indeed introductory and transitional — but to call it merely introductory and transitional would be to sell the theme short. Within it we find the seeds from which our melodic material will grow. Presented at bar 2, the X theme is as follows (see example 1): It is a bright, accented ascent that places us clearly in B flat major. Rouse also takes us straight into both the Mannheim Rocket — essentially an ascending broken chord — and a Mannheim Crescendo, being a crescendo that continues over a number bars and picks up more instrumentation along the way. The unsettled nature of this theme — an asymmetrical meter, an angular and wide ranging melody —

does with parallel chords leading to F minor as well. These chords will take careful management — the harmonic language of the work is surprisingly sophisticated, though Rouse himself acknowledges that he is more invested in melody (horizontally) than in harmony (vertically). (See example 2.)

These chords will take careful management — the harmonic language of the work is surprisingly sophisticated, though Rouse himself acknowledges that he is more invested in melody (horizontally) than in harmonhy (vertically).

> b >œ ˘œ 6 >˙ . j j b b œ œ >œ b œ b œ œ >œ œ J 8 b œ œ > > > fl > >p crescfl f f

Example 1: X Theme, Bar 2

& 78

R O U S E

œ. Œ ‰

reflects the jaunty angularity of much of the work. In addition, the profusion of 4ths and (consequently) fifths is significant for the outline of this work. It is clear that Rouse is signaling to us that the work will built upon open layers, thus being either firmly in a key, or using stacked 4ths or 5ths, all around one. Having given us such a strong indication of B flat, he immediately muddies Example 2: First Theme in the Woodwinds the water with our first theme. Though 6 j the melody sits Cl. in B Flat & 8 bœ. œ œ œ œ œ reasonably in a related key (a kind of f minor), j # 6 b œ œ œ ‰ œ œ b œ A. Sax in E Flat 8 & n œ œ œ œ œ n œ ‰‰ the accompaniment is a succession of jazz-like extended ? b b 68 j‰ ‰ ‰ j‰‰ Low WW tertian substitution œ œ œ bœ chords, closing as it

M A N H A T T A N

This initial theme appears in the woodwinds, though Rouse includes extensive cross scoring, particularly for the lower voices.While not innovative, the scoring here is particularly satisfying, since these Bravura style works often leave the woodwinds to wallow in overstated brass chords. Even when the brass do appear, at bar 30, it is the woodwind who continue to lead the melodic lines all the way to the reappearance of the X theme at 42.

Rouse plays with the underlaying rhythmic tension — both with a simple 6/8 and 3/4 tension, and with the rhythmic intensity found in the sort of rhythms we see in our first theme. Eschewing a simple “boom-chuck” accompaniment, Rouse often hides the internal beats of the bar, such as in the coming 9/8, 6/8 sequence bar at 39 (see example 3, overleaf). The B theme, appearing in the low brass, leaves us in no doubt as to its underlaying rhythm, beginning strongly in 3/4, and seemingly firmly in c minor (see example 4).

œ bœ œ œ.

œ.

bœ bœ

œ

œ. œ.

˙.

˙.

j œœ œœ œœ ‰n b œœ œœ œœ ‰‰ n b œœ œœ œœ ‰ œœ œœ n œœ œœ b œœ

∑

# œœ # œœ n œœ

j ‰ ‰ ‰ œ b œ b œj‰‰ j‰ ‰ ‰b œ b œ œ œ b œ œ œ

∑

Nœ nœ œ

B E A C H

M U S I C

21


Rouse almost immediately backtracks, taking us straight back to 6/8, and quickly to 2/4. This kind of rhythmic tension, supported by a deft harmonic language, moves us forward through the work with a sort of creative energy that twists even as we believe we know where we are headed. He keeps us guessing, and although never uncomfortable, he doesn’t allow the listener to settle into a standard underlaying rhythmic figure.

Example 3: Rhythmic Interplay (Transposed)

39

Upper Voices

Lower Voices

b 9 œ œ œ ‰ œ œ œJ ‰ ‰ 6 œ œ œ ‰ œ œ 3 œ b & 8 8 4 œ ? b b 98 œœœ n n œœ œ œ

œœ œœ

Œ

n œœ b œœ 6 ‰ 8 nœ œ nœ œ

œœ œœ

Supporting throughout, the percussion writing is impressive, though never dominating. Written for six percussion parts, Example 4: B Theme

47 Low Brass

? b b 43 ˙ .

œ œœœœœ

˙

œ

œœ˙

Rouse has been very specific, including suggested sticks as well as the usual dynamic language (see example 5, percussion writing in Rocket). Rouse reiterates the rhythmic figures in theme B, and continues to explore the idea of parallel chords through the back of the B theme (from 87–96) before offering us again the X theme as we head into the middle of the work. Interestingly, it is only as we start to enter the middle of the work that we see the composer start to break away from scoring the work in distinct “choirs” of woodwind and

22

œœ 43 n œœ

brass.At 102 we halve the tempo, though with everything about this work it is not so simple. Although he offers us a very pretty section, we never get the trite melodic line that could so easily have been placed here. Rather, Rouse explores a slow-moving harmonic language — some equally beautiful scoring with “subtone” in the saxophones and overlapping melodic material in the clarinets, oboes and (at the conductors discretion) flutes. At 118 a solo trombone (optional soli) offers us the theme Œ section Œ marked espressivo (see example 6). The melody is not very singable; Œ yetŒ its beguiling harmonies make it memorable. Even in this low sound, the dark textures and accented passing notes give this melody life. Rouse’s mastery of melodic lines to create harmonic movement is evident in this passage as the other low brass instruments enter.

ROUSE

R O C K E T

œ J‰œœœœ

The transition to the modified large A section at 128 takes the form of the now familiar 3/4, 6/8 dichotomy, and also explores the idea of parallel chords that first appears at the end of the small a theme. Even as we recapitulate the themes, Rouse holds our interest. This is no mere “cut and paste” bonanza. Whilst the musical material is firmly rooted in the previously played material, Rouse offers us variations. The X theme that appears between a and b does not appear between A1 and B1.

w w w. M A N H AT TA N B E AC H M U S I C . c o m


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Copyright © 2010 Manhattan Beach Music - All Rights Reserved - Printed and engraved in the United States of America ISBN 1-59913-132-3 (complete set of score & parts) ISBN 1-59913-133-1 (score only)

Purchase music, download free MP3s, view scores and more at www.ManhattanBeachMusic.com

The Coda from 182 pushes us out to the end. The driving rhythm of repeated quavers, the parallel chords, the 6/8, 3/4 tension all appear to move us to the close. Two beats from the end we encounter a tutti fortissimo — the first of the piece. Rouse saves the biggest sound for the close, thus saving the audience the false bravado of endlessly restated sheer sound. He does, however, move us back to B flat.

Overall, this is a piece that initially promises a rollicking good time. However, it is a work that stands up to closer scrutiny. Built in a tonal, rich language, it conveys excitement and introspection. It is an attractive work, yet a worthy one; It can be experienced as a whirlwind, or on a deeper level as a well constructed tribute to great American composers. Using a language that is both understandable and accessible, Rouse has created a work that is playable, but will require a deft touch from the conductor. It explores multimeter, but

never becomes formulaic or predictable. Seemly in a simple form, there is much motivic development. It is above all the application of line that creates rich and dark harmonies. In short, it is a work that music students will enjoy. There is much to explore and discover, yet excellent music to be made. Audiences too will find it attractive. His melodic style, in this case eschewing simple melody for more complex forms, creates melodies that are evident in all the voices. Choosing which one is important will be the task of a good conductor. Rouse’s Rocket is much more than the sum of its parts.This five minute work will challenge conductors and their musicians, but will in the end offer great reward. It deserves a wide and varied audience, and will offer much to the conductor who takes the time to explore its many facets. It is a work that will produce many different and varied performances, all of which follow the score. Isn’t that one sign of outstanding music? E

Example 6: Theme C

bœ. bœ œ œ œ. > ? b b 43 ‰ j >œ œ œ œ J >œ F

118 Trombones

œ b œ . œ œ œ b ˙ n œ n œ n œœ œ b ˙ n œ n œ n œœ b œ œ bœ bœ J œ J œ œ n˙ n˙

M A N H AT TA N B E AC H M U S I C

œœ œœ

œœ b œœ

b b œœ b b œœ

23


C E N T R A L PA R K S K E T C H E S

C O N C ER T B A N D G R A DE 3

D R .

by J O H N

G

r e g o r y B . R u d g e r s has an uncanny knack of creating unique pieces that are woefully needed in wind band literature. Rudgers’ pieces are not the like the standard ABA overtures from the current “popular” composers. Rather, his pieces inspire the imagination and challenge the performer to new creative heights. In Central Park Sketches you will find an accessible piece with wonderful textures and a skillfully crafted melodic schema.

Commissioned by the Ithaca Concert Band from Ithaca, New York, Central Park Sketches is through-composed with three distinct sections — Intrada, Chorale, and Bagatelle — inspired by three different landmarks in New York City’s Central Park: the Mariners’ Gate, Belvedere Castle, and the

24

A .

D A R L I N G

1 2

Alice in Wonderland statue. Each of the sections is related melodically and rhythmically, bug each section maintains its own identity and style. During the Intrada (measures 1-25) Rudgers uses melodic

w w w. M A N H ATTA N B E AC H M U S I C . c o m


GREGORY B. RUDGERS fragments from the main theme to construct a bold fanfare. The main theme isn’t fully revealed until the chorale section of the piece, and yet the opening melodic motive of the main theme is used in diminution as the opening flourish. The saxophones and French horns also present the motive in its normal rhythmic notation. This motive becomes a unifying element for the entire work.

Rudgers also establishes the harmonic language that he will use throughout the piece in measures 2 and 3 with the suggestion of quintal harmony.

See Example 1, verso. Rudgers also establishes the harmonic language that he will use throughout the piece in measures 2 and 3 with the suggestion of quintal harmony. In measure

3

7 the harmonic palette includes minorseventh chords presented in inversion, and cluster chords. See Example 2, verso. A secondary theme is introduced at measure 9 which is also a foreshadowing of a fragment from the main chorale theme. See Example 3 below, left.

Notice the diminution of the theme in the trumpets and trombones, as well as the cascading reverse-pyramid strata presentation of the theme. Rudgers uses the powerful concluding statement of the chorale theme as part of his fanfare and then adds one last motive (measure 16) that will be used as another cohesive element throughout the piece. See Example 4 below, left. The Intrada concludes with majestic chords employing percussion in a supporting role. The introduction to the chorale is a charming chamber moment that allows Rudgers to showcase his harmonic language. This section might be best served with just one player per part.

4

See Example 5, below, left.

5

The actual chorale begins in measure 34. See Example 6, overleaf. Comparing example 6 to the first five examples of this article, the main chorale theme is clearly present in its various manifestations. The harmonic

M A N H A T T A N

B E A C H

M U S I C

25


GREGORY B. RUDGERS For the beginning of the Alice in Wonderland third section of the piece (Bagatelle), Rudgers begins with a lively rhythm presented by the percussion. The harmonic background picks up on the playful rhythm and establishes the character and mood appropriate for the Mad Hatter’s tea party. See Example 9.

language continues as the supporting element. The second portion of the chorale begins in measure 50. Rudgers uses shifting textures to maintain the aural interest in this beautiful chorale. See Example 7 below. Notice in measure 58 the concluding melodic fragment that was foreshadowed during the Intrada (see Example 4).

The frenetic pace of the melody in measure 101 launches with the familiar motive. See Example 10 (bottom left).

A modulation to the key of C major may require some extra rehearsal time getting younger performers accustomed to this lesser-used key for winds. The conclusion of the chorale begins with a powerful statement starting in measure 85. Notice in measure 88 the motive that was also highlighted during the Intrada at measure 16 (see example 4). See Example 8.

6

The contour and construction of this melody is not your standard running sixteenth-note obbligato. The rhythm and occasional leaps may make this melody a little more difficult to master, but that’s what makes a Rudgers piece stand out from the rest of the predictable pieces that are so prevalent elsewhere.

8

9 7

10


C E N T R A L PA R K S K E T C H E S With a nice Holstian multiple melody technique, Rudgers layers in the chorale melody along with the Alice in Wonderland obbligato into a single texture at measure 109. See Example 11. In measure 129, the final statement of the chorale tune is presented in a new rhythmic manifestation. This leads to a diminution presentation of a motive from the fanfare in measure 132 (see example 4). See Example 12.

If you know the work of Gregory Rudgers, then you have a good idea of the solid craftsmanship you will find in this piece. If you were waiting for the right time to introduce this worthy composer to your students, Central Park Sketches just might be the right introduction. Your performers and audiences will be thoroughly engaged, and you will be exposing your students to a quality of music superior to the standard fare so often seen in our field. E MBM TIMES Issue No. 4

MBM

TIMES

ISSUE #4

A Manhattan Beach Media Publication

M ANHAT TAN BE ACH MUSIC IS PROUD TO PRESENT

F R A N K T I C H E L I ʼS L I S T

BURIED TREASURE

PART 2

by GREGORY B. RUDGERS

MAKE IT YOUR OWN

THE RHYTHMIC & METRICAL DIVERSITY OF FRANK TICHELIʼS

Creating More Meaningful Performances and Rehersals Through Effective Score Study by DR. JEFFREY D. GERSHMAN

11

POSTCARD

by DR. JOHN DARLING

The Tyger

FRANK TICHELIʼS

WAGGING THE DOG: SIX MODEST PROPOSALS by DR. JEFFREY BOECKMAN

JOHN CARNAHANʼS …AND THE ANTELOPE PLAY

MICHAEL MARKOWSKIʼS

Photo of Frank Ticheli by Orange Count y Register

WINNER OF THE CBDNA YOUNG BAND COMPOSITION COMPETITION

TURKEY IN THE STRAW REVIEW by DR. KEITH KINDER

REVIEW by DR. KEITH KINDER

MBM TIMES Issue No. 1

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PREMIERE ISSUE

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13

A Manhattan Beach Media Publication

a R E V I E W of

Arnold Rosner’s works, including

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photo by Charlie Grosso

AMERICAN FA M I L I E S

Photo of Frank Ticheli by Charlie Grosso

12

Photo of Frank Ticheli by Orange County Register

Using a modulation to increase the harmonic interest, Rudgers brings together all three melodic elements —the fanfare, the chorale tune, and the Alice in Wonderland obbligato

in a triumphal finale. See Example 13.

FRANK FRANK TICHELI’S

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All Manhattan Beach Music publications are printed exclusively by Chernay Printing, Coopersburg, Pennsylvania

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27


Above the Rest

Dr. Jeffrey D. Gershman

s s

Adva

n c e d

On Cliff’s Edge by Christopher Tucker TMW Press (www.tuckermusicworks.com) Publisher Grade Level: 1 Approximate Length: 3:00

Dr. Jeffrey D. Gershman Photo by Alain Barker

In

t ro d u c t i o n

At the end of my first Above the Rest column, I commented that it was my hope this forum would become a trusted and valuable resource in helping discover new works of only the highest artistic merit. Well, judging from the feedback we have received, I think we’re well on our way to achieving this goal. Because of this, I’m very excited to present our second, and greatly expanded, installment of Above the Rest. While this year’s titles are different, the goal of the column remains the same—to save you valuable time by independently reviewing nearly all of the music promoted over the past two years and recommending the very best of these pieces. The scope of my review encompasses nearly 1,100 different titles made available by 35 different music companies and self-published composers. What follows are the 21 finest pieces made available in 2010 and 2011. It’s my hope that you will find these titles interesting and rewarding as we continue to do our part in helping keep your band program above the rest.

28

Le

While there’s no doubt that the principal function of Grade 1 music is to develop the basic playing fundamentals of its young musicians, so often the result are pieces that are 100% Function and, well, 0% Music. Cue Christopher Tucker. Tucker has justly earned a reputation as one of the best and most original composers of young band music with pieces like Americans Lost and Twilight in the Wilderness, so it should come as no surprise that his latest piece is one of the best Grade 1 pieces written in the past five years. Set in a fast 4/4 time, On Cliff’s Edge features an advanced harmonic palette, a welcome amount of instrumental independence, and a carefully crafted sense of orchestration that skillfully integrates the percussion section as part of the ensemble. The result is a piece that is both imminently playable and inherently exciting. If you’re looking for a piece that makes your students better players and exposes them to the visceral excitement of music, then put On Cliff’s Edge on their stands. Hexagony by Ben Hawkins C.L. Barnhouse Company (www.barnhouse.com) Publisher Grade Level: 0.5 Approximate Length: 1:30 Six notes. That’s all that composer Ben Hawkins allows himself to use Hexagony. Despite these significant limitations, Hawkins takes the first six notes presented in most beginning method books and crafts them into an evocative and affecting piece. Set in c minor, the work features surprisingly sophisticated harmony and highly independent percussion writing expertly integrated into the music. What’s more, the piece offers even these youngest of musicians the rare chance to play in a fast triple meter that can be conducted either in a faster three or a slow one. How refreshing to have a composer use such limited compositional resources as an opportunity, not as an excuse.


Shipwrecked by Ryan Nowlin Neil A. Kjos Music Company (www.kjos.com) Publisher Grade Level: 2 Approximate Length: 2:50 Rising from the substantial pile of trite, heavy-handed, and gimmicky Grade 2 music is this well-crafted gem by Ryan Nowlin. His piece evokes the moments after a ship has capsized on the open sea and the fate of its passengers. Engaging from the outset, Shipwrecked features extended use of f minor, both full and chamber-like textures, careful orchestrational choices, and a colorful use of the percussion section. Set at a consistently fast tempo, the second half of the piece even provides the opportunity to play in cut time, as Nowlin skillfully and subtly integrates several hymns associated with the sea into the music. A rare example of engaging program music at the Grade 2 level, Shipwrecked will leave a lasting impression on your students’ imagination while making them stronger musicians at the same time. Scheherazade Selections by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (adapted and arranged by L.C. Harnsberger) Alfred Music Publishing (www.alfred.com) Publisher Grade Level: 2 Approximate Length: 3:00 L.C. Harnsberger does an outstanding job with this very playable arrangement of themes from Rimsky-Korsakov’s muchbeloved Scheherazade. Although simplified, the music still absolutely retains the character, style, and much of the scoring of the original. The piece provides an excellent opportunity for students to explore f minor and to develop a full, dark, ensemble sound. Just as importantly, they have the chance to perform the music of the Romantic period—a style rarely accessible at this level of difficulty. Thanks to Harnsberger’s well-crafted, well-orchestrated arrangement, this is the perfect opportunity for younger students to experience, first-hand, a classical music cornerstone. Salvation Is Created by Pavel Chesnokov (arranged by Michael Brown) Hal Leonard Corporation (www.halleonard.com) Publisher Grade Level: 2 Approximate Length: 3:00

While Chesnokov’s sacred work has been a staple of choral literature for almost a century, it wasn’t until Bruce Houseknecht’s transcription of 1957 that bands finally got the opportunity to experience this moving music. In his new arrangement, Michael Brown smartly borrows from both sources. His adaptation more closely follows Chesnokov’s original phrasing and dynamic shape while still retaining many of the aspects that made Houseknecht’s transcription so popular—such as his choice to set the piece in c minor (up from the original b minor), put it in 4/4 (the original is in cut time), and his addition of percussion parts. The result is an arrangement that carries with it much of the same depth, power, and sense of reverence as the original, but is still very playable by less advanced ensembles. Superior to much of the slow music being marketed to Grade 2 ensembles, this is an arrangement that has the potential to touch your students in a deep, spiritual way. “Lost Lady Found” (from Lincolnshire Posy) by Percy Aldridge Grainger (adapted by Michael Sweeney) Hal Leonard Corporation (www.halleonard.com) Publisher Grade Level: 2.5 Approximate Length: 2:50 Michael Sweeney’s largely faithful adaptation of the final movement of Grainger’s masterpiece is much closer to a true transcription than an arrangement. By retaining much of “Posy’s” orchestration, and carefully redistributing selected parts, Sweeney is successful at retaining the style and character of the original, while still making it playable by less advanced ensembles. While I do have some hesitation that he lowered Grainger’s key down a major second and has included optional percussion parts (my preference would be to omit them), the opportunity for your students to play in dorian mode, in a fast triple meter, and to be exposed to all of the instrumental independence and rhythmic complexity inherent in Grainger’s writing, more than offsets these concerns. Don’t miss this opportunity to introduce your students to one of the great masterworks of the band repertoire and, when you do, make sure to expose them to the folksong’s text, which weaves a wonderfully dramatic story of how this “lost lady” was ultimately found.

29


Mo

d e r at e ly

Adva

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Paper Cut by Alex Shapiro American Composers Forum (www.composersforum. org/program/bandquest) Publisher Grade Level: 3 Approximate Length: 5:30 Over the last decade, the American Composers Forum has invited some of the world’s leading classical composers to write for the BandQuest series, which has produced remarkable pieces by such noted composers as Chen Yi, Michael Daugherty, Libby Larsen, Stephen Paulus, and Pulitzer Prize winners, Jennifer Higdon and Michael Colgrass. The latest addition to their catalog by Washington-based composer Alex Shapiro may be the series’ most innovative piece yet. In Paper Cut, Shapiro creates an ethereal sonic world that marries the traditional band with pre-recorded electronic sounds. The piece gets its title by the manipulation of printer (or, as the composer recommends, recycled) paper that the students “play” in a variety of ways. The result produces a surprisingly diverse amount of timbres that effectively bridge the gap between the traditional and the electronic. This is a piece rooted in rhythmic independence and timbral exploration, with the students’ responsibilities equally split between their use of the paper and actually playing their instrument. For those hesitant about the use of electronics, the setup utilizes equipment found in most band rooms and is explicitly detailed by the composer in the score (as are the instruction about how to create the different timbres using the paper). Paper Cut produces an aural and visual experience that is unmatched for music at this grade level and is easily one of the most original and interesting pieces written at any grade level in the past year. Lauda by Timothy Miles Manhattan Beach Music (www.manhattanbeachmusic.com) Publisher Grade Level: 3 Approximate Length: 4:00 The second prize winner of the last International Frank Ticheli Composition Contest, Category One (Music for Younger Players), Timothy Miles’ well-crafted Lauda effectively synthesizes traditional compositional techniques with the melodic and rhythmic structures of contemporary pop music.

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Set largely against a driving high-hat pattern, this highly rhythmic piece is somehow both heavily fragmented, and yet, impossibly catchy. Don’t let its instant accessibility fool you however, because, behind its groove lay a piece that has much more in common with Beethoven than with the popular music that inspired it. A perfect concert opener or closer, Lauda is easily one of the best Grade 3 works of the year. Liadov Fanfare by Brian Beck Alfred Music Publishing (www.alfred.com) Publisher Grade Level: 3 Approximate Length: 2:00 Brian Beck has produced a striking fanfare that utilizes original themes by the 19th Century Russian composer Anatoly Liadov. Set in a brief Fast—Slow—Fast form, the piece will expose your students to the tuneful, grandiose music of Romantic period Russia, popularized by composers like Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov. In stark contrast to many of the percussion and pretense-heavy fanfares currently available, the simplicity of Beck’s work makes for a genuinely stirring way to start any concert. Meditation by Dwayne S. Milburn Neil A. Kjos Music Company (www.kjos.com) Publisher Grade Level: 3 Approximate Length: 5:00 Written in memory of a popular and much beloved student who passed away, Dwayne Milburn’s Meditation demonstrates the genuine power and catharsis that can occur when a tribute piece chooses to honestly address loss and reflection instead of masking it in false sentimentality and bluster. Built upon the presentation and combination of the Lutheran hymn “If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee” and the 19th Century spiritual, “Poor Wayfarin’ Stranger,” Milburn’s piece is brilliantly orchestrated and harmonically sophisticated, including some very unusual and unique progressions. Finding a Grade 3 work of this kind of poignancy and depth is indeed rare and, if carefully done, this piece has the potential to be profoundly moving.


A Carol Triptych by Pierre LaPlante Daehn Publications (No publisher website) Publisher Grade Level: 3 Approximate Length: 5:00 Is it really possible that a Christmas arrangement is one of the best pieces of the past two years? Normally, no, it’s not possible. Normally, Christmas arrangements are throwaway collections of badly orchestrated carols slapped together with forced transitions. But it’s for this very reason that this 1977 re-issue from Pierre LaPlante deserves to be on this list. Refreshing in its simplicity and free of pretentiousness and gimmicks, the piece presents three very different settings of familiar carols: a striking “Silent Night” written only for unison clarinets and wind chimes; a haunting and atmospheric scoring of “We Three Kings” set against a Janissary percussion ostinato; and a thick, lush, fully-scored setting of “We Now of Christmas.” LaPlante proves that, in the hands of a composer who takes his craft seriously, even something as familiar as holiday tunes can achieve greatness. Somewhere Leroy Anderson and Morton Gould are smiling. Fanfare for the Common Man by Aaron Copland (arranged by Robert Longfield) Boosey & Hawkes (www.halleonard.com) Publisher Grade Level: 3 Approximate Length: 3:00 In his recent arrangement Robert Longfield has done convincing job at expanding Copland’s signature fanfare for full band. Through subtle addition of woodwind parts to support the original instrumentation, the music still very closely resembles the sound of Copland’s brass and percussion version. While I have some reservation that the original key has been lowered and that he has included a part for Bells (which I would recommend be omitted), the fact that students at this grade level can personally experience the impact and gravity of this cornerstone of American classical music more than makes up for it. Every student should have the opportunity to perform this masterwork and, with the help of Robert Longfield, now they can. The Spheres by Ola Gjeilo Boosey & Hawkes (www.halleonard.com) Publisher Grade Level: 4 Approximate Length: 5:30

New to band composition, Oja Gjeilo’s The Spheres is an affecting new work for winds that is among the most hauntingly evocative pieces of the year. Adapted from a portion of his own Mass for Choir and String Orchestra of 2008, the piece may remind some of the music of Eric Whitacre and Morten Lauridsen, but make no mistake, Gjeilo’s voice is unique. The “spheres” of his title refers to the idea of planets and stars and the composer’s attempt to sonically portray the darkness and quiet of space. This feeling of weightlessness is achieved through the opening section’s slow cross-fade of static chords before Gjeilo employs the use of diatonic dissonance to create a long, deliberate build to a moving conclusion. Programmatic aspects aside, this is a piece that takes direct aim at developing your students’ ensemble and listening skills. Be that in their attention to the dynamic independence and control necessary to effectively execute the cross-fades or in the full, dark ensemble sound required to achieve the work’s apex, The Spheres is the kind of piece that will make your ensemble more mature while still allowing them to grow musically by performing one of the most sublimely beautiful pieces of the past year. A poignant new addition to the band repertoire, Ola Gjeilo is a young composer to definitely watch. Hymn to a Blue Hour by John Mackey John Mackey (www.ostimusic.com) Estimated Grade Level: 4 Approximate Length: 8:00 Over the past decade, John Mackey has become one of the band world’s most performed composers. His distinctive style seamlessly blends popular and classical music and frequently features a near-constant underpinning of driving rhythmic energy. It’s because of this then, that Hymn to a Blue Hour is so special. A marked departure from many of his other titles, Mackey’s new piece is slow, lush, and almost pastoral in nature—perfectly capturing the idea of the “blue hour” (a French expression for the period of twilight when there’s neither full daylight nor complete darkness). Sensitively scored, the piece moves between moments of serene beauty, poignant lyricism, and visceral power and features an ending that can only be described as haunting. This is a wonderful addition to the Grade 4 repertoire and further reinforces why John Mackey is among the leading compositional voices of his generation.

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“Mountain Majesty” from Poema alpestre, by Franco Cesarini Mitropa Music (www.dehaske.com) Publisher Grade Level: 4 Approximate Length: 6:00

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Op.

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De Profundis by Jonathan Newman Jonathan Newman (www.jonathannewman.com) Estimated Grade Level: 4 Approximate Length: 10:00

A lush, emotive work by Swiss composer Franco Cesarini, “Mountain Majesty” owes a great deal of its harmonic language, melodic writing, and dramatic shape to both Wagner’s “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral” and Respighi’s “Pines of the Appian Way.” Even with these overt influences, the piece never feels derivative or contrived. Perhaps most refreshing is that Cesarini has created a work that isn’t afraid to take its time, creating a long, slow, six-minute build that results in an apex of true catharsis. While this may be slightly harder than the Grade 4 level listed due to endurance and range considerations, this is a selection of great depth that will challenge your ensemble musically, teach them about Romantic harmonies, and build a dark, full ensemble sound. A significant addition to the repertoire that will leave an indelible impression on your students and audiences.

Perhaps there’s no piece I’ve reviewed that’s harder to categorize than Jonathan Newman’s wildly imaginative De Profundis. Deriving its melodic and harmonic materials from the medieval de profundis plainchant, Newman’s piece alternates between dense counterpoint, ritualistic, primitive drumming, and achingly beautiful lyric sections. Perhaps most interesting is the large amount of (clearly explained) aleatoric writing throughout the piece that invites students to put their own personal interpretation on the music. While all of these elements seem remarkably disparate, through his sheer compositional prowess, they all work effectively in combination and in execution. Underappreciated for too long, Newman is a very unique voice in a band world often filled with too much of the same. De Profundis will make your students grow as players, expand their musical world, and leave your band changed for the good.

Rest by Frank Ticheli Manhattan Beach Music (www.manhattanbeachmusic.com) Publisher Grade Level: 4 Approximate Length: 8:00

“Romany Life” from The Fortune Teller by Victor Herbert (arranged by Larry Daehn) Daehn Publications (No publisher website) Publisher Grade Level: 4 Approximate Length: 2:00

With the release of Rest, Frank Ticheli once again shows that there is no one better today at writing genuinely moving pieces that still lay well within the technical means of many ensembles. Although comparisons to earlier works like Amazing Grace and Shenandoah are only natural, Rest is unique in Ticheli’s output because the music is completely original. Adapted and expanded from his often-performed choral work “There Will Be Rest” from 1999, Rest is among the most introspective, intimate, and sublimely beautiful pieces he’s written. This is destined to become a new cornerstone of the Grade 4 repertoire and has the emotional depth to move you, your students, and your audience perhaps more deeply than anything he’s written for band. (For more information on Rest, please see my analysis found in this issue)

In the character and style of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Folk Festival and Jacques Press’ Wedding Dance comes Larry Deahn’s new arrangement of Victor Herbert’s “Romany Life.” Taken from the first act of the Herbert’s 1898 operetta, The Fortune Teller, this brief selection is a tuneful, Eastern Europeantinged piece that fills that very small niche of encore pieces that are inherently exciting, without being overly virtuosic. Prominently featuring the woodwinds and the xylophone, if you’re looking for a way to bring your concert to a rousing close, this is the piece for you. Adva

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The Shadow of Sirius by Joel Puckett Bill Holab Music (www.billholabmusic.com) Estimated Grade Level: 5 Approximate Length: 19:00


Written in response to a personal tragedy, Joel Puckett’s new flute concerto, The Shadow of Sirius, was inspired by poet W.S. Merwin’s collection of the same name. The three movement work is scored for flute soloist, flute choir, and wind orchestra. The concerto is unique in that, while it is certainly technically virtuosic in the traditional sense, much of the piece centers around what the composer calls a “virtuosity of expression.” And in the exploration of this concept, Puckett has easily created the most evocative piece of the year. Ethereal, haunting, and always engrossing, the music manages to create a sound world that evokes both the deep sadness and perpetual hope inherent in Merwin’s poetry. This deeply thoughtful concerto is not only one of the best pieces of the year; I believe it’s one of finest concerti ever written for band.

John Leszczyński’s Scherzo à la Britten was written as tribute to the English composer’s much beloved A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. Formally and compositionally similar to the fugue that closes the work, Leszczyński’s piece successfully balances paying homage without being derivative and very much has the feeling of Britten as interpreted through 21st century eyes. The result is an absolute tour-de-force for any ensemble. The piece is densely contrapuntal and almost athletically virtuosic, all building to a final apex of such visceral impact that it literally takes your breath away. At only 24 years old, Leszczyński demonstrates an exceptional compositional ability and leaves little doubt that more great things are to come. C

Frenergy by John Estacio Boosey & Hawkes (www.halleonard.com) Estimated Grade Level: 5 Approximate Length: 5:00 The great majority of advanced music being written today often falls into two categories—those pieces with little artistic substance that hide behind quasi-cinematic scores and blazing technique, or those that are compositionally well-conceived, but are too cerebral to really connect on with their players (or their audience) on an emotional level. Frenergy is one of those wonderful rare exceptions that effectively combines both style and substance into a tight, exciting concert opener. Originally commissioned by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in 1998, Fraser Linklater’s 2006 transcription has just been made widely available through the Windependence series. Written by well-respected Canadian composer, John Estacio, Frenergy is a technical and rhythmic powder keg worthy of its title (the combination of the words “frantic” and “energy”). Quasi-minimalist in style, the work is harmonically interesting, highly complex rhythmically, featuring an athletic workout for the woodwinds, horns, and percussion (including piano). The result is a powerful, visceral piece that will leave your audience, and probably your players, breathless. Highly recommended. Scherzo à la Britten by John Leszczyński John Leszczyński (johnleszczynski.com) Estimated Grade Level: 6 Approximate Length: 3:15

o n c lu s i o n

For those interested in how these pieces were selected, I put into practice the same six criteria stated in my MBM Times article, Skimming the Top; in evaluating each new piece. I’ve also simplified the grading process by organizing my choices into three categories: Less Advanced (Gr. 1-2); Moderately Advanced (Gr. 3-4), and Advanced (Gr. 5-6). For those familiar with my past articles in MBM Times articles on repertoire (Issue 2’s Skimming the Top: How to Find the New Masterworks) and programming (Issue 3’s Keep Them Coming Back for More: How to Program Successful Concerts for Your Students and Your Audience), you know how passionate I am about the importance of putting nothing but the finest music in front of our bands. Superior repertoire allows us to show our students what can make music so powerful. Our all-too-brief window of opportunity to promote a lifelong love and appreciation of classical music can’t be squandered on music of questionable artistic merit. Just like the English department, the Theater Department, the Art Department, who each have a vast canon of quality works from which to select repertoire, we must we raise our students’ appreciation of great music with great music. It’s just that our job is harder—there simply isn’t as much great concert band music. But if you believe in it and, more importantly, if you support it, it will come.

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MICHAEL

MARKOWSKI

T I D A L C

O

N

C

F O R C E S E

R

T

G R A D E

T

B

In his work, Tidal Forces, Markowski explores the ideas of invisible threads that bind us together, such as the Tidal Force that the moon exerts on the earth, and the seemingly magic ability of an object more than two hundred thousand miles away to affect day-to-day life on our planet. Within his work there are layers of connections. Some are obvious, others less so, but it is this connectedness that makes this music both fascinating and worth studying. Markowski’s fifth-published work for band [1. Shadow Rituals; 2. Turkey in the Straw; 3. Instinctive Travels; 4. Shine; 5. Tidal Forces] is an evolutionary work that demonstrates [Title] Score both his creativity using a paucity of musical material and his technical control of the medium. As though springing from

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D

5

Shadow Rituals and Instinctive Travels, LOURENS Tidal Forces is a also difficult and exciting work; but it demonstrates a maturing composer, and will need a like approach from the ensemble and conductor. While you will hear many elements of his first two works — the driving rhythms, a constantly evolving tonal center — Tidal Forces does make better use of a smaller amount of musical material. It feels more tightly constructed, less of a fantasia, moving towards a more taut construction. The main motive first appears at bar 8 after a vigorous opening. Appearing in the flutes and chimes, it features a fall of a half step, a rise back and then a minor third fall, with another little dip to follow. (See ex. 1.) While the main melodic material is here, our introduction has provided a rhythmic ostinato that sets the tone for the work. This feeling of unsettled syncopation is to carry us through the work. Note too the semitone — Markowiski preparing us for the importance of this interval in this work. [Composer] (See ex. 2.)

1. Tidal Forces: Main Motive, Flutes, Oboes and Chimes

œ. 3 & b 4 œ. F

N

by

he Butterfly Effect is a theory that is used to explain how DR. ALAN small changes in one place can ultimately create large changes in another at a later time. It may be used to explain the dependency of a major outcome on a seemingly unrelated prior action. This connectedness can be science or fantasy.

8

A

nœ œ nœ œ J

œ. œ.

œ œ œ œ J

˙ ˙

œ œ œ œ œœ b n œœ œœ œœ œœœœ

It has been noted that this interval structure mirrors strongly the Dies Irae, a mediaeval melody heard in the Requiem Mass (and most famously in the “Witches Sabbath” movement


and falling minor third; and an unsettled 3/4, 2/4 melodic idea that is itself a synthesis of the first two ideas. This third compound idea will become the main theme of the work.

of Berlioz’s pivotal Symphonie Fantastique.) Markowski denies the conscious use of the melody; nevertheless its appearance in a work dedicated to a student who died tragically young is another of those connections, both musical and extramusical, that abound with this work.

Interesting that within the space of 16 bars, the composer has given us his musical material. From here onward, he continues to develop these three ideas: an unsettled rhythm Score heavy with ties across the barline; a pattern of a falling minor second

photo by Dimitri @ the24studio

Markowski immediately transforms our motive into stepwise movement, and brings together this unsettled rhythmic idea in the clarinets and horns. (See ex. 3.)

MICHAEL [Title]

2. Tidal Forces: Opening rhythmic motive, trumpets

> . . 3 n œœœ œœœ œœœ œœœ b & 4

Score

Score

[Composer]

>œ >œ œ œ [Title] >œ œ œ œ. œ. n œœ œœ œœ œœ ‰ œœ n œœ œœ œœ œœ J

3. Tidal Forces: Developed motive, clarinets and horns 12

& b 43 œ œ œ F

MARKOWSKI

42 œ œ œ œ [Title] 43 œ œ œ œ œ œ œ > œ >

4. Tidal Forces: Third idea developed. Clarinets, Tpts 2,3 and Horns

& b 43 œ œ œ 68 œ œ œ œ . œ œ 43 œ œ œ œ œ >

M A N H A T T A N

>œ œ œ >œ n œœ œœ œœ [Composer] œœ Œ

42 œ œ œ œ 43 ˙ . > >

[Composer]

What follows in the first section of this work is Markowski at his finest. He plays with the material through several short episodes, sliding through a variety of not always closely related keys. Markowski does use his voices in choirs. Just as often, however, he groups together unlike instruments for an interesting compound sound. For example, bar 19 features flutes, alto saxes, trumpet 1 and vibraphone. Each of the episodes builds to kind of small climax before moving on. For example bar 26-27 features such a climax with the entire ensemble, while bar 28 has the clarinets, trumpets 2 and 3 and horns grouped together in another iteration of our third idea, this time substituting a 6/8 bar for the 2/4. (See ex. 4.) This idea of a steady eighth-note will become more important later in the work. It is interesting that Markowski introduces the idea here as an organic growth from the original theme. Bar 47 sees the beginning of an extended climax, lasting as it does from here to bar 59, and brings this episode to a close.

What follows is a developmental section. Markowski plays with the idea of a descending three-note unit introduced at the opening of our developed motive. He turns it into a three-note figure that falls only a half step and then inverts it before giving us the opening motivic idea in augmentation. (See ex. 5 overleaf.)

B E A C H

M U S I C

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At 122, Markowski gives us a metric modulation. Harking back to the idea of the eighth-note staying constant, Markowski is at pains in his introduction to point out that it is the smaller unit rather than the pulse that stays constant in order to “...submerge the listener in a more lyrical world.” This compound meter is to stay with us for some seventy bars, and this forms the basis for the middle section of this work. (See ex. 6.)

Markowski’s fifthpublished work for band is an evolutionary work that demonstrates both his creativity using a paucity of musical material and his This metric modulation brings the underlaying pulse down to around technical control of 100 beats per minute, though with the eighth-note being constant and the medium. [Title]

Score present

it may take the listener some time to hear that the pulse is altered.

[Composer]

5. Tidal Forces: Opening motive developed

Flute

Clarinet 1

Clarinet 3/4

& b 43

˙ & b 43 & b 43

∑

œ

œ

∑

˙

∑

∑

˙ 42 ˙ 42 ˙

˙ 43

˙

b˙.

∑

˙.

˙.

∑

˙

∑

In the following section we finally leave the eighth-notes and the pulse finally becomes obvious to the listener. This is a gorgeous reflective section based upon the fallen quarter-note section from the opening. Markowski meanders through a number of keys and leads us towards bar 174. Here we have a kind of inversion of form of the episodes, for rather than leading us to a climax, he gives us quiet intensity. Above a sung pitch (an A-flat sung in the lowest singable register) he gives us a ghostlike figure in flute 2 — a version of our main motive. (See ex. 7.)

œ

Markowski heightens this effect by accenting the second quaver (eighth-note) in the second bar, which would be beat 3 of a second bar of 3/4 if the pulse had remained unaltered.

At 191 we begin our trek back to a triumphal ending. It is the brass that re-introduces our ˙ material. Again, Markowski hides the bar lines, and from 198 when we return to the ˙ third idea we have many changing time sig˙ natures. There is much canonic writing and imitation, and in the way of Markowski the key continues to change, floating from phrase to phrase. By 240 we are firmly into the Coda, and the brass bring us back to our main motive. The energy from here to the close is palpable. The tempo of its ebb and flow increases, as do the technical demands on the performers.

Even within this section, Markowski hides the pulse with triplets over 2 beats, and more often that not he accents the

At 304 we have a glorious arrival. Wonderfully scored, he turns the three-note figure into a suspension as we move

&b

73

& b ˙.

73

&b

∑

73

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69

second eighth-note of the bar, kind of hiding the bar line. It is stretching the truth to say that the pulse is always hidden. This section is indeed lyrical, for above these toiling eighth-notes Markowski gives us soaring melodies, building to the climax of this section (the loudest yet within the piece) at bar 140 with a forte & fortissimo in the brass and a flurry of notes in the woodwinds.

œ

˙

42

˙ 43 ˙ 43

œ œ œ

œ œ œ

˙.

w w w. M A N H AT TA N B E A C H M U S I C . c o m


this section. When the coda comes, we have a vibrant and exciting close of great energy and passion.

towards a muscular close. It is ecstatic and the pace slows with long notes in the low brass, again with the bar line often hidden. As we head into the final bars, Markowski and gives us our main theme — reminding us of just how little musical material it takes for a craftsmen to create an exceptional work.

It is not an easy work to play. Conductors will need to be aware of M I C H A E L M A R K O W S K I the taut construction, and performers will need to be technically nimble and ˙ ˙. musically alert.

6. Tidal Forces: Metric modulation 119

˙. 3 & b 4 ˙. œ # & # 43

Upper WW

Saxes 122

˙. 9 b & 8 b ˙˙ ..

122

œ œ œ œ œ. œœ ..

photo by Dimitri @ the24studio

Those who admire the writing of Markowski will not be disappointed by Tidal Forces. Clearly we have a further development of his style, this time towards a more tightly constructed work. His economy of musical material is exceptional and [Title] it is Score not difficult to trace almost every bar

With several published major works for band receiving regular performances it is unfair to call Markowski a new composer anymore. With this work he feels self-assured, more confident in his material and his techniques. There is much in Tidal Forces to study. What makes it an interesting work, and perhaps one of Markowski’s best, is its energy, at times strong and powerful, others introspective and reflective.

œ. œœ ..

42 ˙ œ 42

[Composer]

œ

˙. ˙˙ ..

43 ˙ . œ 43

98

œ œ œ œ

˙.

The connections in this work abound. Almost every bar is tied to the main theme. There are touches that bind the work as a whole and each of the episodes is balanced against its peers. It is a work of delicate balance, whose thematic unity make it greater than the sum of its parts.

98

œ.

> # # 9 n œœ œœ œ œœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œœ n œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ # œœ œ nScore ‰ & 8 œ œ œœ œ œœ œœ œœ œœ n œœœ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ n œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœœ œœ œœœ n œœœ

Tidal Forces is the work of a composer whose consid[Title] erable talents continue to develop. I am fascinated to [Composer] see what further works will come from his pen. E

122

7. Tidal Forces: Sung section

of this work back to the main themes. The work is exciting, a series of well paced episodes. Markowski understands the palette of band well, and his scoring is well chosen and appropriate. The ambivalence of the metric modulation is intriguing. Markowski hides the bar lines and for quite some time the listeners will not notice the change. This intellectual idea is matched by the humanity of

174

Upper WW

Voice

& b b˙.

177

?b

177

M A N H A T T A N

˙.

& b 98 b ˙ . P ? 9 b 8 b˙. ∏ œ. œ.

b˙.

œ.

œ.

œ.

˙.

œ.

b˙.

œ.

œ. b˙.

˙.

œ.

˙.

b˙.

B E A C H

œ.

˙.

b˙.

œ.

˙.

œ.

œ.

œ. b˙. ˙.

M U S I C

œ. œ.

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R H Y T H M C O N C E RT

I

B A N D

G R A D E

G A M E S

n his music for young bands, Timothy Broege is well known for his inventive approaches to harmony, scoring and melodic construction.

Broege’s music for more advanced ensembles shows a masterful ability to integrate diverse elements into compositions of substantial scope and sophistication. Rhythm Games, which was written for the Waukesha Central Middle School Band, combines both of these approaches. While cognizant of the limited technical abilities of young players, Broege has produced a work of considerable Example 1: Rhythm Games, bar 1-2 (Introduction): l e n g t h Very slow and broad (almost nine         minutes)       with multiple ff   contrasting  

   

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 by Dr. Keith Kinder

3





sections unified by a consistent approach to harmony and melody. His scoring is also remarkable for its refreshing transparency — no dense, “grey” sound here.

 

Rhythm Games begins with an eight-bar slow Introduction that opens powerfully with three towering polychords. The dissonance in these chords is muted somewhat by astute voicing that places triadic structures in instruments in analogous registers, or those with similar timbre. For example, the triads contained in the first polychord are: A minor in the low brass, D major in trumpets and horns, G major in saxophones and clarinets, E major in high woodwinds.   The second     chord is p a simple 

w w w . M A N H A T T A N B E A C H M U S I C . c o m


T

I

M

O

T

H

Y

transposition of the first, and the third combines F major, B-flat major and C major, a sonority that (not coincidentally) contains all of the notes of a diatonic F major scale. In addition to the harmony, bar two presents a brief motive, doh-re-mi, in first clarinet that will be significant throughout the composition. See ex. 1, bottom left. The remainder of the Introduction is gentler and sustained, but maintains the polytonal sonority and comes to rest on a long, quiet chord combining C major and G major. The “A” section, marked Moderately quick, steady tempo, begins at bar eight by establishing a percussion ostinato using bongos, tambourine and triangle. The primary melody appears over the ostinato at bar ten in first clarinet and alto saxophone. It employs all the pitches of a C concert scale and comprises two six-bar phrases in antecedent-consequent form. At the consequent, flute and

B

R

O

E

G

E

background. It quickly becomes isorhythmic through strategically placed rests, which, since the percussion do not play, contribute rhythmic momentum. The melody, beginning at bar 23, is also altered by added a second pitch level, a perfect fifth above the original. The archaic sound of the melody proceeding in parallel fifths generates an intriguing contrast of style with the lush, neo-Romantic triadic ground bass. The second and third repetitions of the melody elide at bar 34. The new statement returns to the texture of the Introduction with the melody played in consecutive polychords by full band. The percussion fills the silences and activates the longer notes of the melody. The consequent phrase is presented as a double canon and is truncated to create a pleasing rhythmic shift that draws attention to the beginning of the “B” section. The B section begins at bar 44 and offers several contrasts to the preceding music. A “new” melody appears, but is in

Example 2: Rhythm Games, bars 10-21 (primary melody):

                   p                        Moderately quick, steady tempo

             

           

xylophone are added to the melody generating a noticeably brighter timbre. See ex. 2, above. Two contrasted repetitions of the primary tune follow. The second statement begins at bar 21. Like the first statement, an ostinato (in the form of a ground bass) is established before the melody enters. This ostinato, however, is in the low voices using three parallel statements of the doh-re-mi motive and creating a rich triadic

fact a development of a motive from the primary tune with a new rhythm and style. See ex. 3. Other new elements also occur. A quiet choral texture is established that supports melodic fragments either in the rhythm of the B section, or drawn directly from the primary

Example 3: Rhythm Games, bar 43-49 (“B” section):

                      mp

M A N H A T T A N

p smoothly

B E A C H

      

M U S I C

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TIMOTHY BROEGE The hymn flows directly into a full-band restatement of the three towering polychords (somewhat differently voiced) from the very beginning of the piece. The doh-re-mi motive from bar two also reappears, slightly altered and in first trumpet, and the subsequent bars essentially repeat the Introduction.

melody. The second part of this section (bar 63) presents another interesting timbre. Oboes and first clarinets play rhythmically differentiated versions of the primary theme in inversion, while, as accompaniment, two minor seventh chords alternate from bar to bar (another ostinato). See ex. 4 below. The “C” section, marked Very sustained, hymn-like, emerges at bar 74. The chords here are virtually identical with those of the Introduction and a brief woodwind melody is superimposed that again employs motives from the primary theme. An astonishing event occurs at bar 84. Example 4: Rhythm Games, bar 63-71 (oboe/clarinet):

  

Oboe

  

p





                Clarinet in B-Flat

(quarter notes always sustained)

mp gently

  

             

 

   

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 



 

The purpose of this surprise is to prepare for a new version of A. At bar 92, the original percussion ostinato is re-activated and the primary melody is presented as a four-voice canon. Two other ostinatos are also created. Low woodwinds, horns and string bass play a development of the ground bass from bar 21, which is based on the doh-re-mi motive, and second alto saxophone and second trumpet add a new two-bar figure that doesn’t seem to be related to any other material in the piece. The texture built up is complex and energetic, but remains at a controlled dynamic level that is in many ways more exciting than had it been loud.

A “D” section and another dramatic contrast appear at bar 107.         In these bars the texture becomes pointillistic — a              daring and rare occurrence in music for young          band. Brightly  colored points mf of sound are               separated by brief  silences that create a kaleidoscopic texture requiring very careful counting. The melodic interval of a perfect fifth, a characteristic of the primary theme, is compressed to a tritone. As this section progresses the textures accumulate and institute another development of motives

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R H Y T H M

G A M E S

from the primary theme over a warm, low-register triadic accompaniment Bar 147 presents a brief recall of the hymn, whose primary purpose appears to be to slow the pace of the music in preparation for a passacaglia that appears at bar 159. The ground bass is short and repeated six times. The tune emerges out of the texture very smoothly because it has been hinted at in melodic motives throughout the piece (as early as the doh-re-mi motive in bar two, the primary melody in bar 20 and solo trumpet in bar 48) and was prominently presented by orchestra bells and chimes in bars 150 and 156. It also seems to be a logical culmination of the frequent use of ostinato. See ex. 5. The first three presentations of the passacaglia theme are in the low register with familiar Example 5: Rhythm Games, bar 159-162 (passacaglia theme): material arrayed above. At the fourth statement, the tune is moved to upper Passacaglia, with a little more movement, smooth and sustained         register and at its fifth appearance   is harmonized in two voices. The mp final presentation returns to the low register, is harmonized in three voices with expectation, and has a wonderful sense of forward and ushers in a dramatic ritardando that is extended for motion. five bars and introduces new material. Everything comes to an abrupt halt at 239. Then, a An “E” section appears at bar 186. Fragments of chord consisting of multiple octaves of C is struck by “all melodic material from both A and B are presented, but this available bells, chimes and metallophones” to introduce section also introduces a new rhythm and the harmony is the Coda. Full band alternates fragments of B and A largely chords in fifths rather than polychords. The closing leading to powerful, towering polychords reminiscent bars (196-99) are noteworthy. Over a quiet quintal chord, of the beginning and another dramatic ritardando. The a solo trumpet plays a version of the first motive of the final chord combines C major, G major and D major, but primary theme at half its original tempo, a remarkably actually sounds more like a C major thirteenth chord than fresh sounding texture in this context. a polychord. The recapitulation commences at bar 202. The In Rhythm Games, Broege has created a young band percussion ostinato from bar eight re-appears enhanced work that is full of contrasts but integrated through by tom-toms and bass drum. A shortened version of A careful attention to harmonic content and imaginative is re-stated with full band in unison hammering out the melodic development. Given the opportunity to perform pitches. B is also immediately recalled, but perhaps the this composition, students will experience sonorities and most thrilling moment of this part occurs at 228 when textures that are unfortunately rare in young band music. the hymn is restated with the primary melody in high An overall joyous character and persistent rhythmic energy woodwinds and mallet percussion. In effect, A and C should appeal to the sensibilities of young musicians, are being recapitulated simultaneously. The percussion however, the musical quality and compositional skill is more active here than at any previous place in the displayed in this piece should also make it interesting to composition, but, as was seen earlier, the dynamics are ensembles at higher performance levels. E controlled generating a musical moment that is redolent

M A N H A T T A N

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SHINE

CONCERT BAND GRADE 3

If you are familiar with Michael Markowski’s previous works (Shadow Rituals, Turkey in the Straw, and Instinctive Travels), when you page through the score of this new Markowski score there appears to be something missing: Meter changes!! The piece is uncharacteristically in good old common time from beginning to end. But never fear, Markowski finds other ways, clever ones, with which to maintain rhythmic pulse and drive as a significant component in this new opus.

D R .

M A R C

R .

D I C K E Y

photo by Dimitri @ the24studio

B Y

For those who teach and conduct younger players, Shine is Markowski’s most accessible piece to date. And yet, there is content M I C H A E L M A R K O W S K I here that more mature players and audiences will be captivated by. Why captivated? For one thing, the melodic and harmonic materials are quite sparse,      so that one becomes very aware of the way   

       

in which they are manipulated throughout    



      

 

 

     



         

 

   

                   

 

G, Ab, and Bb, which ingeniously reach your ear both melodically and harmonically at the same time [m. 1]. Three solo flutists play the pitches as a soft cluster at the top of the treble

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by this able young composer. The piece is introduced with just three pitches,





clef staff, while the pitches are played melodically in the vibraphone. By m. 3, a pedal tone is added, revealing what is now an F minor tetrachord. And a colorful pedal tone it is, undulating amongst crotales and chimes, with hairpin dynamic changes in the alto saxophones and fluttering tongues in the horns. A triplet motive in the snare drum interrupts the duple feel of the piece thus far, signaling the arrival of the first real motive. This triplet device will continue to pop in on occasion, a little question mark here and there in this otherwise overwhelmingly duple work. This motive is an expanded version of the ascending pattern from m. 1, but with two added

         

  

pitches and a new, insistent melodic contour [mm. 8-11]. Syncopated accents on the “and� of beat four provide stylistic vitality, while colors provided by the cup muted trumpets in the melody and the piccolo/oboe/soprano saxophone combination in the pedal point pull in the listener. “Shine� is very much a piece about shifting, changing, emerging tone colors. If something seems a bit off-kilter since the introduction, it is because Markowski has shifted the pedal point down to the 7th scale degree in F minor, while the melodic material is now built around F, G, and Ab. This motivic material is developed a bit more, with a nod to the Lydian mode and a bit of counterpoint developing out of the pedal point. The phrase ends back on the G, Ab, Bb in tied whole notes that crescendo mightily

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M A R KOW S K I into‌nothing. Nothing but a suspended cymbal left to vibrate, and a completely unexpected moment of rhythmic repose, a stub of the toe in the crack of the sidewalk. When the action returns three beats later, the motive has once again morphed, now from Lydian to whole tone in a series of imitative entrances tumbling about [m. 18-21].

into an unexpected and mighty in-your-face Db major chord. This triumphant triad crescendos into a repetition of the entire first section of the piece.

At m. 25 an episodic sequence of descending quarter note bell tones slows the rhythmic drive momentarily and signals the return of the original motive, now turned upside down [mm. 29-31]. Accompanied by the whimsy of a slapstick, glockenspiel glissando, and those cup muted trumpets on a rare close position Eb chord, the first section of the piece concludes as an offbeat tutti entrance veers        



     

        



SHINE              



                  



 

 

             

    

                                     

   

   

             



       

M A N H A T T A N



A borrowed convention from the classical symphony perhaps, but the repetition of the entire opening section is welcome here. The events in the first section of the piece change rapidly enough, and are surprising enough upon first hearing, that the opportunity to play and hear them once again prepares us for what comes next. When the second iteration begins to veer off as before, the ear expects that mighty Db chord to reappear; the listener is both disappointed and rewarded with a shimmering pp upper woodwind Db chord instead.

The second section of Shine takes the five-note motive from m. 18 and turns it upside down. This section, again in classical tradition, is more subtle and understated than the opening of the piece. As at the beginning, the motive is first stated in the vibraphone [mm. 77-79], and then passed to growling muted trombones, and then to dark chalumeau woodwinds. There are some lovely moments, such as when a lone trumpet player is left exposed on a solo fourth line D in another moment of repose. There are some dark moments in the accompaniment here too, including a rhythmic motive in the low reeds and brass that may cause you to look back over your shoulder to make sure no one is chasing you down a dark alley. At m. 96 a simple stylistic detail changes the nature of a quadruple eighth note accompaniment when the accent on the “and� of four disappears [m. 93 vs. mm. 96-97].

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M A R KOW S K I    



      





  

  

  

 

Various instrumental groupings overlap each other in layers of crescendo and decrescendo, all underneath an episodic ascending line in slow motion, shifting through Db Major, F minor, Ab Major and then easing us gently down into a first inversion Eb Major chord that crosses us over into new third section territory. The elegant transition adds a quicker paced soaring woodwind line that emanates from the lower voices and foreshadows what is to come in this new section [mm. 100-102], and refers ever so briefly back to the motive from m. 8 before we actually move on.      

        

   

  





The third section of Shine begins with a new legato motive Figure 9: mm. 112–114 the B Jolt! that reminds us of the 1 descending bell tones B Tpt. 2 3 from m. 63,. But now they ascend back to 1 where they came from, Tbn. 2 and then dip down to a tonic that feels at Euph. first calm and nostalgic Tuba. [mm. 104-107]. And the intensity from the motive seems to increase as Markowski layers it in sequences, first at two-measure intervals and then increasing the rate of motion to one per measure toward a triumphant jolt of a Bb first inversion chord, with an accent offset to the second beat of the bar to create an even greater sense of power and awe [mm. 112-14]. As you move into this section you will begin to realize that this piece is not just a joy for the player and the listener, but a joy to conduct as well. There will be places in Shine, at Markowski’s tempo of 152-160, that you’ll want to try moving into a soaring

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cut time yourself–and you should! Your choices as to where you move in and out of cut time to make the music work best and help your players the most may not be as obvious as you first think. Determining this with your group is an added satisfaction for the conductor. Now, back at that Bb Jolt: Markowski comes out of this climactic point with a few brief bars of really fine counterpoint that lead to a return of the quadruplet eighth note accompaniment from m. 96. Markowski brings back the second section’s syncopated, staccato descending motive, mixing it now with the melodic contour of the lyrical material from m. 104 [mm. 126-127]. It sparkles and crackles as he tosses it on and off the beat and creates a brief antiphonal duet with minimalistic tendencies. This unselfconscious nod to minimalism works especially well because the musical materials are so sparse and bare. And it serves as a transition to a section of summary—a development, signaled by rare triplet quartet notes in the suspended cymbal. Here Markowski begins, from m. 132, to duck and weave the motives he’s given us thus far, beginning with the ascending motive from m. 8, now combined with ascending layers of legato quarter notes. The once naked motive from the first section is now cloaked with sustained ascending lines from the third. The vigorous motive from the first section disappears, and a lovely, clustery chord of Bb minor mingled with Eb Major swells into a sweet reminiscence of the little tune from the third section, with gentle entrances on beat two that remind one of the more terrifying jolt we felt back at m. 112. Another minimalistic moment creeps in, consisting of simple repetition of quarter notes in the low brass with likewise repeated eighth notes in the saxophones, dynamically ebbing and flowing as if trying to get their engine to turn over. A delightful, quirky accompaniment pattern from m. 87 is added

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S

H

I

N

Figure 10: mm. 126–127 antiphonal duet

Picc. Ob.

1 B Cl. 2 3

in the woodwinds to provide encouragement [mm. 154-157]. The engine cranks, and suddenly at m. 162 we have a subtle but totally danceable six-measure party on our hands, highly syncopated with some fun percussion writing. In the midst of this little social affair, the end of the original motive (from m. 10) is used in sequence to bring us to the beginning of a recapitulation that reminds us that to Shine is an aspiration, not a destination. The original motive returns full on at this point (m. 170), accented by a crunchy, climactic chord of Eb7(b10) topped with Cb Major. From here Markowski drives Shine home: A line of descending quarter note triplets in the low reeds and brass plunges into a crystal clear pool of ascending whole note bell tones in saxophones and horns. This is accompanied by unruly, flailing syncopated eighth notes, soon set straight by an Figure 11: mm. 154–157 minimalistic ebb and flow with quirky woodwind accompaniment

Fl.

1

B Cl.

1 2 3

E Alto Sax.

1 2

E offbeat fanfare figure as the trumpets come to the rescue and bring us back once again to the Bb Jolt from m. 112, now a step lower. The saxophones and horns interrupt with a strong reminder of material from the third section, but the Jolt, now in Ab, wrests attention back onto itself. Staying true to the clever development of sparse motivic material throughout, the last few bars make reference to the first three pitches from m. 1, and then the pitch set from m. 8, both in augmentation. In the last six measures, ecstatic glockenspiel and chime glissandos set up a surprise attack on the whole tone scale by most of the winds that inspires the trombones and reeds to come in on a highly dissident A Major tri-tone chord. Rationality quickly returns though, as these rebels glissando and flourish to a final beat two Jolt, this time ending on a big fat Eb Major second inversion chord. Shine is rewarding to pursue as players and listeners follow Markowski’s craftsmanship, realizing the raw creativity of the three opening pitches and appreciating how they evolve from beginning to end. But be sure to take time to also step back from the piece as you would a painting, and admire the palette of shifting and emerging tone colors. There is good art here too. E

B Ten. Sax.

Tbn.

1 2 3

Euph.

Timp.

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R E S T C O N C E RT B A N D G R A D E 4

f

B Y D R . J E F F R E Y D. G E R S H M A N I N C L U D I N G

I N T E R P R E TAT I O N

rank Ticheli’s latest composition, Rest, is a work of extraordinary beauty and substantial depth that lies well within the technical means of many ensembles. Written in 2010, the piece is a concert band adaptation of the composer’s much beloved SATB choral piece, “There Will Be Rest,” written in 1999 [Hinshaw Publications]. Great care has been taken in transcribing the piece for winds, especially when it comes to preserving the original registration so to preserve the beauty and poignancy of Sara Teasdale’s words. With that said, however, Rest is not a mere transcription. Ticheli explains that “with the removal of the text, I felt free to enhance certain aspects of the music, most strikingly with the addition of a sustained climax on the main theme. This extended climax allows the band version to transcend the expressive boundaries of a straight note-for-note setting of the original. Thus, both versions are intimately tied and yet independent from one another, each possessing its own strengths and unique

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M A N H A T T A N

G U I D A N C E

qualities.” Rest was commissioned by Russel Mikkelson, the Director of Bands at The Ohio State University, and his family in memory of their father, Elling Mikkelson. Set in a rounded binary form of AABA, framed by an introduction and a coda, Rest is approximately eight minutes long. The piece opens with a seven measure, harmonically ambiguous introduction that immediately establishes the work’s overall sense of tranquility, while presenting the four-note “There will be rest” motive that will be prevalent throughout the piece. [See excerpt of Clarinet 1, mm. 1-4]. This sense of tranquility can be best achieved if the ascending quarter notes in the clarinets and horns seem like they’re emerging from those instruments playing sustained pitches. Special attention should also be spent on creating both effective ensemble releases that are well balanced, open, and resonant, and on confident attacks on all

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entrances following these releases. Measure 8 gives way to the beginning of the A section and the first definitive confirmation of the piece’s home key of Eb Major. The section should be played thoughtfully—almost 1

   

Clarinets 1&2

pp

   

serve special attention regarding the intonation and balance of the first two notes of the phrase, now scored in Flute 1 and Trumpet 1 (with cup mute). Measure 32 presents a new and sudden modulation to Gb Major, which gives way to a transition that features the most transparent writing in the piece.   Measures 36-39 present a simple two-note canon between Clarinets 1 and 2 and Bassoon 1 (crosscued in Baritone Sax) and Alto Sax 1, perfectly capturing the words of the original vocal version. [See excerpt of canon in mm. 36-39].

reverently—with a sense of warm, homophonic ensemble balance. [See excerpt of mm. 8-12 in condensed score form]. To best achieve this, it is imperative to balance all four independent lines, as the Clarinets 1 and Più mosso (q=ca. 66) 2 and the Alto Sax 1 may be naturally 8 Clarinets 1&2; Alto Saxophone 1         louder than the remaining ensemble                       due to the range in which they are mp cresc. p mf scored. In addition, care should be takTenor Saxophone; Horns 1&2 en to make sure that all longer notes                    are consistently sustained without any         cresc.  sense of decrescendo, so as to create a p mf p Horns 3&4; Trombone 1 completely seamless texture. Great             confidence should also be shown by              the Flute 1 and Oboe 1 between mm.  p cresc. p mf Trombone 2; Euphonium 13-16 as they lead in the rest of the                           ensemble into the second part of this      section. The intonation, in particular, p cresc. p mf of their first two notes will be difficult [Excerpt in concert pitch] because of the unison writing. Again, The canon also serves as a very subtle modulation, allowing attention should also be paid to the full ensemble releases in the section to return to its original Eb Major, ending the m. 19 and m. 22 as they should reflect the character and style second A section at m. 48. From an ensemble standpoint, of the tutti releases in the introduction. because the second A section shares so Clarinets 1&2 much of the same material as the first, 36 rit.                many of the same concepts of ensemble         sound and balance apply as well. It is im    p portant to note, however, that between Alto Saxophone 1 mm. 28-45, Ticheli has very carefully or               chestrated the parts so that there should p never be an audible break by the entire Bassoon 1 ensemble. To ensure this absolutely seam                  less texture, it is important that all players   p sustain (without decrescendo) the exact note values that they’ve been given. It is also recommended, in order to give the music from mm. 40-43 Measure 23 marks the beginning the second A section. The depth and weight, that special attention be paid to the intonaopening nine measures (mm. 23-31) here are very similar to tion and balance of the perfect fifths in Clarinet 3, Bass Clarithe first A, now set with some new and expanded orchestranet, Baritone Saxophone, Trombones 2 and 3, solo Tuba, and tion. As in the initial statement (mm. 12-13), mm. 27-28 de-

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q= ca. 60

   Alto Saxophone 1; Trumpet 1                49

     

rit.

to note that, while each of the notes is marked as fp in this measure, Ticheli has p mp mf also added “gently” so as better to retain the character of the original text, “dream.” The Tenor Saxophone; Horns 1&2 music makes one final dramatic push as a           single, homophonic two-measure phrase      p mf is intoned three times, each time growing in intensity and volume (mm. 59-64). Horns 3&4; Trombones 1&2 [See excerpt of mm. 59-60 in condensed        score form]. It is crucial here that there is           a unified sense of note length and articu[Excerpt in concert pitch] mf lation throughout the ensemble. In addition, the ensemble sound should always String Bass. remain well-balanced and consistent, Measure 49 ushers in the B section of the especially as the section grows louder form and, with it, a significant change in and more intense. The concluding part the character of the piece. Although the of the B section (mm. 65-74) serves as tempo remains slow (quarter note=ca. a transition to one final return to the 60), the music takes on a soaring qualA music and presents new, original ity, achieved by a move from the quarter material not found in its original vonote to the eighth note as the driving cal version. The section, while short, rhythmic force. Ticheli puts these eighth features vintage Ticheli development notes in flight in the form of an ascendbuilt on the interval of a perfect fifth. ing line, set in a three-part imitation [See [See excerpt of mm. 65-68 in a conexcerpt of mm. 49-51]. To best achieve densed score form] This single interval the intended character, it is important to quickly develops into rapidly thickenestablish that all three parts (Alto Sax 1/Trumpet 1, Tenor ing counterpoint that lead directly into one final return to the Sax/Horns 1 and 2, and Horns 3 and 4/Trombones 1 and A section. So as to achieve the dramatic intent, this transition 2) reflect exactly the same dynamic levels (i.e. that there is a must start no louder than the marked mp at m. 65 and gradusingular concept of p, regardless of which combination of inally evolve dynamically until it reaches ff at m. 75. The final struments are playing). Also, because Ticheli has taken great two measures of this transition (mm. 73-74) mark the first care in effectively overlapping the lines through the use of use of percussion in the piece. Ticheli’s use of Timpani and independent dynamics for each part, these markings should suspended cymbal here should only serve as a reinforcement be followed exactly. The music further intensifies in mm. 54of the full ensemble crescendo and should, under no circum55 as Ticheli adds an accelerando and switches to a two-part stances, overwhelm it. texture, with the imitation now occurring every two beats in contrast to the measure59 Clarinet 1 long imitation in mm. 49-53. This lightness                     of this section is short-lived, however, as a pp suddenly slowing, pointillistic transition in Clarinet 2; Alto Saxophone 1 m. 56 returns           the music back           pp to the original homophonic Clarinet 3; Alto Saxophone 2; Tenor Saxophone texture seen                  earlier in the      pp A sections. It’s important Bass Clarinet; Bassoon 1; Baritone Saxophone

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     



pp

[Excerpt in concert pitch]



 

 

 



 


This final A section (mm. 75-93), just as the transition be2, Bass Clarinet, and Tenor Sax have extended offbeat lines, fore it, features newly composed music exclusive to the piece. which are made even more difficult because they occur over a While the material is derived from two measure rit. the original A section of mm. 8-20, The piece concludes with Ticheli now resets it into a stuna quiet ten measure coda ning, almost cathartic, apex. To best (mm. 94-103) that abruptly achieve this, the ensemble sound modulates from Eb Major should remain dark and warm, so to G major. The music here it remains consistent with the rest should have a quality of vulof the piece. In addition, all longer nerability, or as Ticheli denotes, whether in the melody or its scribed this postlude, as “a supporting harmonies, must employ bowing of the head, a mostaggered breathing to allow the texment of reflection, a turning ture to always feel full and sustained. inward into prayer or mediIn what may perhaps be the piece’s tation.” His music reinforcmost striking and unexpected feature, es this idea with one final, m. 75 turns out to be only the first of chant-like return of the motwo high points. Ticheli, borrowing a tive (seen first in mm. 59-64) before fittingly giving way to a page from Grainger’s Irish Tune from County Derry, presents a plagal cadence to close the piece. second, even more dramatic, apex as the ensemble culminates in a fff Eb major chord in m. 80. So as to achieve this distincRest is a must have for bands of all ability levels. While not tion, it is imperative that the ensemble play no louder than technically diffithe ff marked at m. 75 cult, the piece offers so that the music is noPiù mosso (q=ca. 80) wonderfully expresFlute 1; Clarinet 1 65 ticeably louder when           sive and musical     it arrives in m. 80. The       challenges often not music remains full mp mf seen in less advanced Clarinet 2; Alto Saxophone 1 and sustained through works. This is, in  measures 81-87, even                   every sense of the  including one final dymp term, an “ensemble” namic push into m. 84. Clarinet 3; Horn 1 piece that has the  Of special note during        potential to deeply    this final section is the   move its players and mp extremely high Flute 1, its audience when Bass Clarinet; Trombone 1; Euphonium Oboe 1, and Clarinet  significant attention      1 writing. Careful at        is paid to tone qual tention should be paid mp ity, intonation, and [Excerpt in concert pitch] to general volume and ensemble balance. If dynamics of these spethis can be achieved, cific instruments so as this piece has the potential to be profoundly affecting long not to over balance the overall ensemble sound or to make after its final release. E it strident, due to its extreme register. This final A section draws to a close with a six measure transition (mm. 88-93) that features a rapidly thinning texture as both the dynamics and a sense of clearly defined pulse dissipate into stillness. This particular effect in mm. 91-93 presents probably the most challenging technical aspect in the piece as the Clarinet

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TICHELI’S

L I S T

manhattan beach music is �rou� �� �resen� Frank Ticheli’s List

part 4

It’s all about the music.

Most instrumental music teachers understand this simple fact. Excellent repertoire is the cornerstone of a good music program. Period. It can speak directly to students’ souls, reveal to them a kind of beauty that words alone cannot touch, and change their lives in countless positive ways. Yet many, if not most, of the thousands upon thousands of published band works could be called “throw-away music.” Only a fraction of them have deserved to survive the test of time. Indeed, each year very few works from the mountain of new publications will rise to this standard. My aim has been to identify these works by hearing as many of them as possible with my own ears. Not an easy task, and not one to be taken lightly. I acknowledge that I am one person with one set of values and musical opinions. As such, I do not intend for my list to supplant any of the other fine lists already available. Rather, I have tried to make mine more selective. I personally reviewed many of the best published works at all grade levels, selecting only around one hundred twenty works thus far. Of these, nearly another fifty appear here today in Part IV of the List. Other titles will be added and made public only after they have received thorough written reviews from outside writers, a process which takes time and careful scrutiny. Thus, the present list is a work in progress which will evolve and expand over time. I hope this list will serve as a beacon to band directors everywhere who share my hopes about the future of wind band literature and music education. I also hope that, together, we can inspire publishers and others in the music industry to redouble their efforts to create a band world in which excellent music is not the exception, but the rule. Frank Ticheli, Composer Pasadena, California

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Photo by Charlie Grosso

FRANK


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Gre e n w i l l ow Portrait

Mark Williams so many tunes resorting to volume and excitement for a final Alfred Publishing statement, it is indeed refreshing to discover a significant work Duration 2:45 for level one that does not succumb to the mundane. Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers Upon hearing Greenwillow Portrait, one cannot escape the G RA D E recognition that the principal melody is most reminiscent of the ancient folk song, Barbara Allen. Indeed the melody does Sakura resemble certain elements of the familiar tune. However, this Michael Story marvelous level 1 work is not another version of Barbara Allen, Alfred Publishing but more of a respectful homage to the haunting melody. The Duration: 2:15 work is lyric in style in the tradition of British folk songs and Reviewer: Dr. John A. Darling the challenge here is one of achieving smooth, connected, Michael Story’s Sakura is a simple and flowing lines, no small task for bands at level one. setting of the ancient Japanese children’s song that translates Instrumentation is traditional concert band with the exception as “Cherry Blossoms.” The tune is familiar enough that the of only two French horn and two trombone parts; percussion listener will immediately understand its Asian origins. It works is limited due to the style of the work. Williams opens the easily into any multicultural lesson plan and would be a good work with a chorale scored in the middle and lower fit for an interdisciplinary school presentation. The registers for all instruments, thus insuring a warm, multicultural aspect of this piece is further illustrated FRANK rich, and pleasing tone from the band. He does not by Story’s use of traditional Asian percussion shy from more open scoring however, often choosing instruments: Chinese temple blocks, gong, and to make statements with limited instrumentation— triangle. at one point, the work is maintained by three voices L I S T Story has scored this piece with the technical only: flute, clarinet, and triangle. This is a welcome requirements for young or beginning players addition for a work at this level—not to mention clearly in mind. The piece is scored for standard an act of courage by the composer. Instrument instrumentation: flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, choirs are added gradually at this point to achieve alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones, trumpet, horn, a tutti statement that is more articulated and direct trombone/baritone/bassoon, tuba, and five percussion parts. than the earlier statements. Williams once again reduces the The alto saxophone doubles the horn part; the tenor and baritone instrumentation for a more delicate and endearing statement saxophones double the trombone/baritone/bassoon part. There which builds to a fully scored Maestoso that is as grand as it is only one part for each instrument and no requirements for is beautiful. After a moment of silence, the original chorale “divisi” in any part. Although scored for five percussion parts, returns gently and concludes with a reduction of voices and four players could easily handle the parts. Besides the percussion volume down to a single, quiet, staccato eighth note. With already mentioned, orchestra bells, snare drum (no snares), and

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bass drum will also be needed. Multiple unison lines between sections makes this piece an excellent candidate for teaching young players the importance of listening across the band and intonation. In addition, the naturally flowing melody provides the opportunity to explore legato articulations and note shaping. Because the orchestration is simplified, rehearsal strategies are unlimited. Teachers dealing with block scheduling will find this piece adapts well to that situation. Although the key signature of the piece is g-minor, the first statement of the theme by the clarinets is in f-minor (through the use of accidentals) which allows the clarinets to play the theme without going over the break. In fact, the clarinets never go over the break throughout the entire piece. At the same time, there is a wonderful opportunity to teach the clarinets the beauty of the chalumeau register and the importance of tuning the throat tones: G – A – B-flat. Audiences will find the simplicity of this piece attractive. Because of the simplicity, the musicians will work harder on this piece than the grade level indicates, but in the end, what they learn in the process will prove extremely beneficial.

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Rhythm Machine

Timothy Broege Bourne Music Publishers Duration 3’20” Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers Rhythm Machine is one of Tim Broege’s earlier works for young band and it helped establish him as a significant composer for elementary and middle school concert bands. Many of Broege’s works are in baroque form, and indeed this piece is set in the form of an old French “rondeau” in which repetitions of a refrain are separated by a number of contrasting verses. Broege points out that the contrasting verses could be characterized as: 1. urgent-exciting-pressing forward, 2. lyricalgentle, and 3. martial-pompous. Broege accomplishes each of these disparate moods and styles with both ease and recognition of the limitations of younger players, no small task. The refrain consists of three different musical gestures: a lively dance figure, a straightforward staccato passage in minor mode, and a dotted eighth and sixteenth rhythm first offered by tutti ensemble at

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forte. Instrumentation is for standard concert band including piccolo, Eb clarinet, three distinct clarinet and trumpet parts as well as two each of French horn and trombone, though the work could be successfully performed by ensembles with less complete instrumentation. Percussion consists of the traditional snare drum, bass drum, cymbals and timpani. The suggestions of the rondeau form are clearly present in Broege’s work, as the tunes are lively and energetic while maintaining a charming and elegant nature. The connotation of the title is also adhered to in that the rhythms employed, while not complicated, are driven and compelling. This work offers challenge in the form of rapidly changing instrumentation and voicing as well as many passages that move through several dynamic markings in quick order- one might envision the agility of courtly dancers in full costume executing complicated steps and choreography. The beauty of this work is that it represents genuine musical worth and substance while still being performable by younger bands. Indeed, mature bands and wind ensembles would find much of value in this charming piece of music.

Surfboard Blues

Timothy Broege Daehn Publications Duration: 3:35 Reviewer: Dr. Lawrence F. Stoffel Do not expect to hear reminisces of The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, Dick Dale, or even The Halibuts. Surfboard Blues hints at none of these famous surf musicians’ trademark styles. This music is more at home in Chicago or even Atlantic City than in Malibu. Timothy Broege is most definitely an East coast surfer (if only on manuscript paper), and he dedicates this short band work to “the surfers of the mid-Atlantic coast.” Despite the implausible title, Surfboard Blues is nonetheless cool music. Had Bob Fosse composed band music, it would have sounded like this! It is bluesy, but it also shuffles, slinks, wails, and shouts. The music dances in a style reminiscent more of Ann Reinking than of Frankie and Annette. Broege’s blues is slow, swung jazzy music. The bass line walks,


trumpets are muted, and the percussion parts mimic a drum set. While the instrumental ranges are conservative, the nuanced style demanded belies its grade 2 listing. This music requires patience in playing (never rushed), subtlety with jazz articulations (meticulously marked by the composer), and a mature rhythmic sophistication (to render the swung eighth-note). Timothy Broege’s band works are always original, innovative, and intriguing. Surfboard Blues is no exception. While the slow blues style of this music feels at home with the concert band medium, it tickles the imagination to consider this work in its original form, as the middle movement of a suite for recorder ensemble! (Broege is an avid recitalist on recorders.) His well-known band work, Procession & Torch Dance, comes from this same recorder suite, as well. A recorder consort is admittedly an unorthodox medium for blues, but it is fitting testimony to a man whose music defies the ordinary and provides unexpected surprises and imaginative musical settings even in young band compositions. For everything that Surfboard Blues is not, the composition is undeniably catchy.

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Cumberland Cross

Carl Strommen Alfred Publishing Duration 3:15 Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers Cumberland Cross, long a favorite of elementary and middle school bands for use at contest and festival, is also favored by many adjudicators as a work that is capable of demonstrating both technical proficiency and musical interpretation by young bands. Instrumentation is consistent with traditional concert band scoring with the exception of simplified horn parts, which are also doubled during brass choirs, a knowledgeable and generous accession to reality by the composer. There are essentially two ideas in this charming work which captures early American music with an atmosphere of folk song and western dance. Strommen begins with a straightforward chorale which is stated by two successive choirs followed by a tutti statement of a B theme. Both chorales as well as the tutti B theme maintain very reasonable ranges and technical difficulty for all instruments and offer young bands the opportunity to phrase and interpret without the burden of

difficult notes and rhythms. The difficulty here is one of lyrical style and long phrases. He then proceeds to a delightful hoedown or barn dance with traditional and authentic American dance rhythms in both melody and accompaniment. Worthy of note is the skillful use of syncopation which maintains the celebratory nature of the dance. Strommen uses the entire range of dynamic expression from gentle and delicate, to marcato and forte as the tune dances along, and after a brief return to delicacy and precision, he recalls the original lyric chorale style for a few brief measures before snapping off a three measure dance fling to end the work with a wink and a smile. Music for concert band at the lower levels cries out for quality and originality. Cumberland Cross provides the discerning band director and his or her students with genuine literature which is both.

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Short Stories

Leonard Mark Lewis Manhattan Beach Music Duration 5:07 Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers Leonard Mark Lewis has crafted a complex work using simple melodic and rhythmic elements that is at once eminently playable and quite sophisticated. This level 2 work contains many of the characteristics of advanced contemporary band literature without exceeding the limitations of young performers, no little task. His layering of musical fragments in this through-composed piece captures the listener and maintains that interest with constantly shifting colors and choirs. Though not specifically programmatic, Lewis does involve his listeners in a charming narrative with a compelling sense of variety within the unity of a consistent voice. There is minimalism here in the repetition of motives, but it is pleasing to note that the motives in of themselves have musical value. Lewis begins with a staccato and stark mood that immediately captures one’s attention. The ensuing measures contain gentle and haunting lyrical counterpoint with constantly shifting timbres. Unlike much literature for this level, Short Stories has many changes of tempo, some quite abrupt, that will challenge the performers and at the same provide provide blessed relief from band music that stays in the same pace throughout. It

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should be noted that, once again avoiding the clichés that so dominate band literature, Leonard Mark Lewis has crafted a work for young band that is not dominated by thundering percussion. Of course there are parts for that ubiquitous section, but they are sparse and appropriate to the overall nature of the work. That said, there is a delightful trio in the development employing timpani, bells, and snare drum. The final section of this intriguing piece once again layers melodic fragments that are reminiscent of earlier statements and resolves to a gentle and nostalgic conclusion. How refreshing to hear a work at this level end with restraint. Instrumentation is for conventional concert band.

includes directions for employing from four to eight players with logical part assignments. This majestic work begins with a middle and low brass choir accompanied by a lone tenor drum, gradually adding woodwinds and upper brasses in a quarter note half note chorale that is both confident and foreboding at the same time. The Pavane reaches a tutti statement before proceeding to a developmental section that calls for quite independent playing by smaller choirs within the band. Instrumentation in the developmental section is unusual for literature at this level. For example, the pairing of trumpet and bassoon single lines, trombone and bass clarinet sole unison, and antiphonal horn calls, offer the band an opportunity to experience fresh new colors they would not encounter in more traditional “band” fare. (With acknowledgement to bands without complete instrumentation, Margolis offers ample cues for alternative instruments.) This serious and noble march then explodes with a brilliant fanfare, replete with clarion trumpets and substantial low brass and percussion. Percussionists and winds are charged with fortissimo and fortississimo passages, building to a stunning tutti finale. The profound nature and authenticity of this significant work will engage all.

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The Battle Pavane

Bob Margolis Mahattan Beach Music Duration 3:00 Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers Bob Margolis has provided young bands with an authentic insight into both Renaissance style and form in his stately and powerful Battle Pavanne. This arrangement closely follows a four part score by Tielman Susato, a composer and arranger from the mid 16th century. A Renaissance pavane was considered a staid music, intended for grave dancing. This particular work, however, should be considered as a battle piece in pavane form; young players will easily imagine soldiers marching forward to heroic deeds. Renaissance music might, at first thought, seem a bit challenging for younger players, but nothing is further from the truth. This music is straightforward, direct, well within the technical and range capabilities of young bands, and has become a standard in lower level band literature. The score can accommodate up to eight percussionists, but also

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The Red Balloon

Anne McGinty Queenwood/Kjos Duration 2:30 Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers The Red Balloon for young bands was inspired by a painting Anne McGinty saw just once, of a small child and grandfather, facing away, with the young child holding a red balloon. The red balloon is the only color in the painting, and that plaintive image is captured poignantly in this lovely, lyrical work. With so much literature for young bands avoiding lyricism and opportunities for expressive phrasing, it is refreshing to discover a work which offers the opportunity for mature interpretation without daunting technical challenges. Indeed, the sophisticated instructions from the composer challenge the players to maintain the lines in this work with no breaks in the phrases so as to “keep the balloon afloat as the melody passes from instrument to instrument.” With such creative and sensitive insight, McGinty gently expresses her respect for young musicians and offers them the opportunity for artistry. The main theme of the work is stated by flutes in


the opening bars and that theme is nearly always present, in one form or another, throughout. It is variously accompanied by counter melodies and block chords which at times, become the dominant voices. The scoring here is rich and warm, with limited exposure which only occurs in the traditionally stronger voices of young bands. The option of a brief cornet solo stating the main theme is available. This highly expressive piece requires the complete range of dynamics and employs ritards and tempo changes, each welcome additions and challenges for this level. Indeed, there is ample opportunity for rubato here, as the ethereal nature of the work suggests a call for mature interpretation. Pursuant to the gentle nature of the work, percussion is sparse, but very effective and selective in its use of triangle, snare drum, suspended cymbal, claves, tambourine, and bass drum. Also, consistent with its tender mood, the work ends with sustained chords supporting a final statement by solo bells, a fitting conclusion in the childlike world created by this marvelous music.

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Renaissance voicing. Blackshaw even provides instructions for the home construction of a Lagerphone or Murrumbidgee River Rattler, an Austrailian bush band instrument, which upon first viewing in the score might seem out of place. The effect, however is quite true to Renaissance sounds. Avoiding the all too common tutti scoring, there is ample opportunity to explore a wide variety of color and tone from the band. The length of the work might be daunting for some young bands, but the lasting benefit of quality music should far outweigh any hesitancy by either director or musicians.

G RA D E

Terpsichorean Dances

Jodie Blackshaw Manhattan Beach Music Duration 7:28 Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers Terpsichorean Dances follows in the path of Bob Margolis’s Terpsichore, also published by Manhattan Beach Music, in that it is a contemporary band setting of the music of Michael Praetorius. Praetorius, a German composer from the Renaissance, set a standard for instrumentation and orchestration that Jodie Blackshaw admirably emulates in this level 3 Renaissance work for band. Indeed, this setting of dances is a tour de force of orchestration with limited technical challenges that allows the director and students to focus on subtlety and nuance in performance. The work consists of four main sections: Fanfare, Springtanz, (Leaping Dance), Der Sautenspieler (The Lute Player), and Der Schutzenkonic (The Archer King). Each movement captures the programmatic title effectively as it is the voicing and delicate changes of articulation and dynamic that present the various moods and styles. Instrumentation is traditional for wind band, with the exception of creative use of both contemporary and authentic percussion instruments. In fact, much of the color of the percussion section throughout the work lends significant authenticity to the work with true

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The Sussex Mummers’ Christmas Carol

Percy Grainger Arranged Douglas Stotter Daehn Publications Duration: 2 Minutes Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers Percy Grainger has provided the concert band world with much of its finest literature, both in original form by the composer and through many transcriptions of hymn tunes, folk songs, and dances. The setting of The Sussex Mummers’ Christmas Carol by Douglas Stotter continues in that fine tradition with a skillful and insightful arrangement taken from the original piano score. The carol was originally composed for a Christmas

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play and sung by the Christmas Mummers of Sussex as the title implies. The chorale is a richly scored hymn tune, retaining Grainger’s original and clearly recognizable harmonic character. Stotter has included all of the tempo, dynamic, and expressive markings from the original 1911 piano score and advises performers to be meticulous in their observation of all directives. Indeed when a conductor encounters such directions as “Slowish, but flowing,” “Slow Off,” and “Don’t drag at all” it is clearly Grainger’s original intent for performance. Douglas Stotter has chosen to include the soprano saxophone to offer a true saxophone quartet: soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones, which also adds to the authentic nature of the arrangement, as the soprano saxophone is prominent in other Grainger works for band. This work, though not technically challenging in terms of notes and rhythms, does offer challenges suitable for advanced ensembles in terms of length of phrase, style, and several creative and elegant orchestration choices. The bassoons explore the entire range of the instrument, as do the tubas, with range extending down to F below the staff, while flutes and clarinets remain in clearly comfortable ranges. Such decisions give this work the depth and the dignity provided by gorgeous dark colors. The opening and closing phrases are particularly poignant due to the restrained simplicity chosen by this gifted arranger.

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Bridgewater Breeze

Adam Gorb Maecenas Music Duration 10 min Reviewer: Dr. Keith Kinder Adam Gorb’s Bridgewater Breeze was premiered in 1996, but is a transcription for full band of his Suite for Winds, written three years earlier and scored for 14 woodwind instruments. In many ways this piece is an effective representation of one of Gorb’s approaches to composition. The melodic material draws on popular idioms, but never falls into cliché; the scoring is transparent, often employing unexpected soloists; the phrasing is highly flexible, showing a preference for unusual lengths; and the over all character is light-hearted, even humorous.

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The enigmatic title of the band version refers to Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, where this version was first performed, and to the light, “breezy” quality of the music. The first movement, Foxtrot, employs a short, quirky tune that migrates through the ensemble. Intriguing scorings appear immediately. The second statement of the tune is assigned to flutes with a horn countermelody and a very simple rhythmic accompaniment in clarinets. Throughout the movement, Gorb creates a series of ear-catching countermelodies. The second movement, Samba, is transparently scored with a good deal of call-andresponse. The initial four-bar melody is often expanded to five bars. Merry-Go-Round, the third movement, introduces Gorb’s penchant for unusual soloists. The tune, mostly in three-bar phrases, is first presented by solo third clarinet. This movement employs a lot of canonic writing, undoubtedly a depiction of the pairs of horses following each other around a carousel. The melodic line is frequently set in parallel first inversion chords, generating interesting timbres and harmonies. The slow fourth movement, Russian Lament, is in 5/4 time, and sounds liturgical with a tolling bell and rather sombre harmony. It consists of two statements of the same melodic line presented in two- or threebar phrases that are answered by brass choir, like the exchanges of a cantor and a church choir. The first statement utilizes the flutes as soloists; the second euphonium and trombone. The finale, Hoe Down is exuberant and incorporates figures reminiscent of the Foxtrot. All melodic ideas are short, allowing for substantial timbral contrast. The ending winds up over more than twenty bars to reach the most dynamic climax of the piece. Bridgewater Breeze is generally not difficult, although it does push first horn and first trombone into their high registers. It also includes a contrabassoon part, which, while cued in other instruments, adds a delightful colour to several movements. However, most school bands would not have this instrument available. Overall, this work offers young bands a light-hearted, highly coloured composition that presents many fine teaching opportunities, will be well received by audiences and skilfully avoids any hint of cliché.


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Wayfaring Stranger

Steve Rouse Manhattan Beach Music Duration: c. 4:30 Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens Steve Rouse is professor of Music at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. Winner of the 1987 Prix de Rome, Rouse has enjoyed storied career, winning awards from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts and ASCAP, amongst others. Wayfaring Stranger is a setting of the popular US folksong of unknown origin, though (according to the composer) probably born in the southern Appalachian Mountains. The lyrics, like so many spirituals, tell of the hardship of life, yet point to the hope and that “...I’m only going over Jordan/ I’m only going home.” Rouse’s setting, at times dark and brooding, at times uplifting, follows the meaning of the words through to the music meaning. He is a composer with a deft palette at his disposal. Within the introduction we have substitution chords, and we quickly have harmonies following the baseline downwards. However, even through the layerings of complex tertian harmony we always maintain our home base. The journey to the the joyous third voice is in many ways a meandering one. Rouse leads us through a variety of keys to the beginning of the verse, taking us to what must be a triumphal close. Yet it is not so simple. In this fascinating and complex setting the melody shines through, but harmonically he leads us around, twisting us around our tail. The joy of this setting is its melodic simplicity and its harmonic complexity. Like the song itself, it on the surface a simple proposition; life’s hard, but worth living. And like those ideas, it’s never that simple. This juxtaposition is masterfully felt in this lovely setting of a simple tune.

Alligator Alley

Michael Daugherty Hal Leonard Duration: c. 4:00 Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens Daugherty’s Alligator Alley is a very accessible work from this gifted composer. Written on commission for the American Composers Forum in 2003, the work features the Bassoon (an instrument played by the composer’s daughter), and is to date his only work for young band. In his program notes, Daugherty states that “Alligator Alley” is a nickname for a stretch of highway 75 in Florida. Though written for young band, it is not an easy piece to play. The jazz inspired A theme (first heard in the Bassoon, and called the Allegator Theme by the composer) is a very singable theme that Daugherty reworks both here and later in the work. The accompaniment is sparse and, though rhythmic, not a “Vamp” accompaniment. It will require concentration from the group to play it with accuracy and energy. There are a number of contrapuntal re-workings of this theme— well written and interesting, and some open harmonies. Daughtery works the second theme, somewhat more menacing and darker than the first (called the Hunter Theme by the composer), though some fugal writings and later an eigth-note driven line in the woodwinds. The coda, reminiscent almost of a passages of Holst’s The Planets, offers an exciting climax to this work. A good interpretation of this work will require not just a good ability for accuracy, but not a little understanding of the structure and growth of the work. It is an outstanding work for young band. Attractive, well constructed and written, the students will enjoy its harmonies and rhythms, while audience will find this work refreshing and interesting. It will take time to assemble, but is well worth the effort.

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Harvest Hymn Percy Grainger Arranged Joseph Kreines Barnhouse Archive Edition Duration 3:00 Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers

Joseph Kreines has provided band directors with a concert band setting of Harvest Hymn by Percy Grainger, originally scored by the composer for several media as was his custom. Kreines took his setting from the piano score written in 1936. The short work is simply stated by several choirs with rich harmonies, majestic chords, and inventive counter melodies. Grainger’s characteristic rhythmic devices emerge throughout the work, though due to its slow and lyrical style, they are subtle in nature. Kreines chooses to begin with a woodwind choir set in the middle ranges acheiving a warm, rich sound. This opening chorale then builds to a full tutti statement which is followed by several quite original choirs providing the ensemble with fresh and intriguing colors. The final eight measures once again are scored for full ensemble and achieve a sense of drama and finality. This work is difficult to describe in terms of difficulty. There are no technical or rhythmic demands that would challenge virtually any level of ensemble from elementary through the most advanced. However, the length of phrase, and the ranges required by some voices, specifically trumpet, along with the very elegant nature of the original hymn by Grainger do make this most appropriate for mature ensembles. There is little doubt that this is Grainger’s work; Kreines has, through skillful scoring, revealed the clearly identifiable voicing and harmonic originality that marks Grainger’s work. The interior motion, the gentle counterpoint, and the sudden splashes of Grainger humor are present in this significant addition to the wind literature from this gifted composer.

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Themes from “Green Bushes”

by Percy Aldridge Grainger arranged by Larry Daehn Daehn Publications Duration 3:39 Reviewer: Dr. John A. Darling Anyone who knows Larry Daehn’s meticulous craftsmanship should not be surprised by the extraordinary quality of this arrangement of Grainger’s original setting of Green Bushes (Passacaglia on an English Folksong). Daehn has successfully remained honest to Grainger’s original intent while making this setting more accessible to traditional band instrumentation. Grainger’s original score called for violins, harmonium, and piano. Variations that depended primarily on these instruments for color, primarily harmonium and piano, were eliminated by Daehn for practical purposes. The main theme, Green Bushes, is a familiar English folksong. Grainger collected ten different versions/ variations of this tune, The Lost Lady Found and The Three Gipsies (sic.) among them. People familiar with Lincolnshire Posy will recognize The Lost Lady Found as the final movement of that piece. Ralph Vaughan Williams used another version of the tune in the second movement of his arrangement of English Folk Song Suite. There are fifteen statements of the theme (the passacaglia) with each subsequent variation different in style and texture. All of the traditional “Graingerisms” are present in this arrangement making it a good piece to introduce players to the unique concepts and idiomatic techniques associated with most of Grainger’s more complex compositions. Daehn uses standard symphonic band instrumentation including a string bass part. Although the piece could be done without the E-flat Alto and Contra Bass Clarinets, the color of these instruments would provide a more authentic presentation. The extensive use of multiple mallet percussion parts is another orchestration technique used by Grainger that Daehn maintains in his arrangement. The scoring calls for orchestra bells, xylophone, vibraphone, and marimba at the same time during certain sections of some of the variations. Constantly changing articulations and sudden shifts in dynamic markings


help to identify the temperament of the different variations as characteristically Grainger. However, Daehn has used more traditional expression and dynamic markings rather than Grainger’s propensity to use only English in his scores, making the interpretation and Grainger’s intent a little easier to convey to the players. There is an accelerando towards the end the piece that adds to the total effect of the composition. The ability of the performers will ultimately determine the final tempo.

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Molly on the Shore

Percy Grainger Ed. R. Mark Rogers Southern Music Duration: c. 4:30 Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens Grainger’s Molly on the Shore is a setting of two Irish reels. Like much of Grainger’s output, this work is available in many different versions, from two pianos through string quartet to the full band version completed in 1920. The band setting is very woodwind heavy, and presents the opening them on Clarinet which, depending on the chosen tempo, can be a challenge to young musicians. The work is a rollicking setting, based on well chosen and strongly rhythmically accompaniment, and a long flowing second theme that compliments the persistence of the 8th note lines. Although strongly tonal, as the work progresses Grainger introduces a number of accented dissonant sections — first single notes then dissonant passages—to push the music forward through the increasingly technical passages in the woodwinds. The work builds to climax and then, in a a typical Grainger fashion, slowly winds down to quiet, well contained close. Evident through this work is Graingers great understanding of the wind instruments. His scoring really highlights the lines, and when dissonance or imitation is introduced the balance have been well written to allow the lines to shine through. This is a work that is often played; but not often well. A deceptively simple setting that

requires a deft touch from the conductor to ensure that the melodic material stays foremost and that the reel is allowed to dance from beginning to end.

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Lux Aurumque

Eric Whitacre BCM International/Hal Leonard Duration: c. 6:00 Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens Eric Whitacre burst onto the band scene with Ghost Train in 1993, while still an undergraduate student at the University of Las Vegas. As successful and well known as Whitacre’s band works have been, they are dwarfed by his success as a composer of choral music. Many of his works have already entered the regularly performed repertoire, and he has a variety of high profile commissions. His CD of choral works, Cloudburst, was nominated for a Grammy award. His writing is full of rich tonal harmonies that is very attractive to audiences. Earlier works betray his strong sense of the absurd (see Godzilla Eats Las Vegas); however the arrival of the band work October introduced the band world to a richer melodic tonal palette from this composer. Lux Aurumque (Latin for Light and Gold) was initially composed for a cappella choir in 2000. It is based upon a poem by Edward Esch. Little is known about the poet. In 2005, Whitacre was commissioned to re-score the work for band. As expected the work is poetic, reflective and deeply atmospheric. Whitacre’s work grows organically from the broad opening tones, and though strongly tonal, moves through a range of keys and substitution chords to offer a listener an attractive and possibly moving experience. For the players, the technical challenges revolve around the control of pitch. For the conductor, the issues are about controlling vthe growth and progression of the long lines. It will take a mature ensemble to produce a moving performance of this work, but by allowing the piece space to grow it is possible to produce a performance that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

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Suite No. 1 in Eb

Gustav Holst Boosey & Hawkes Duration: c. 11 mins Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens One of the keystones of the band repertoire, the Holst Suite No 1 is a masterwork of the first order. This work represents one of the earliest of serious works for the modern band by a composer whose place in the canon of composers is legendary. English composer Gustav Holst (1874-1934) is today noted particularly for his suite The Planets, featuring the most famous movements Mars, the Bringer of War, seen as a allegory for WW1 which was underway during its composition, and Jupiter, whose famous hymn-like theme is seen as a kind of alternative British anthem. Holsts works for Wind Band, his Suite No 1 in E Flat and Suite No 2 in F and his much later Hammersmith are all key works in the wind band repertoire. In addition is Moorside Suite, written for British-style Brass Band, is often performed in transcription. Suite No 1 pre-dates The Planets by around 5 years, having been written in 1909. In an interesting anomaly, the first known performance of this work was in 1920, some eleven years following its composition. The work falls into three movements. The Chaconne is a broad movement based on a bass line of 16 notes. Academics enjoy debating the form of this movement (which some say is better described as a Passacaglia), but the formal construction is unmistakable, with the ostinato appearing either unchanged or inverted throughout the movement. Its conclusion pushes the brass into the upper register, and a slow tempo in this movement can be very taxing for a young band. The second movement, the Intermezzo is, unusually for a middle movement, a rather brisk and light enterprise. Holst’s jaunty theme is based (as is the last movement) on fragments of the opening Chaconne theme. Holst moves us through some deft metric modulation and weaves in a much more broad a flowing second theme before combining them at the close. A masterpiece

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of composition, this movement really demonstrates Holst’s structural abilities. The third movement, a very English march, is reminiscent of the sort of marches written by Edward Elgar and heard in graduation ceremonies everywhere. It is a broad march in ABA theme, with the opening theme being bravura in style while the second theme is much more understated (with a somewhat meandering countermelody in the tenor lines). With a deft touch, Holst weaves the theme together in the coda before a brief flourish leads us to an emphatic close. The Holst Suites for band were written by a well-known composer who saw the potential of the wind band medium. They are key works in our repertoire that should be played, studied, and (most importantly) enjoyed by all who wish to understand our repertoire.

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Amazing Grace

William Himes Winwood Music Duration: c. 3:30 Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens The hymn Amazing Grace is one of the most recognized melodies in the western world. Its powerful message of redemption and hope has been set in every medium from full orchestra, through spirituals to popular music. Chicago based composer William Himes is director of the Chicago Staff Band of the Salvation Army, in which he holds the post of Music Director of the Central Territory of the USA. He has written works for both British-style Brass Band and Concert Band. This setting of Amazing Grace was first composed for Brass Band, and later set fior winds by the composer. Himes’ beautiful opening is akin to pressing the sustain pedal on the piano and playing the melody. The notes build a beautiful and haunting harmony, first in consonance and then, as the work progresses, in wonderful dissonances that resolve through attrition. It is a haunting opening that produces a simply gorgeous opening. When the transition enters for the second verse it is a like a flower opening. The second iteration is the most straightforward of the three. Accompanied at first by simple eighth notes, the melody is later joined by a melodic fragment featuring a small “turn” in the tenor voices that will remerge in verse three as we near the climax. A short transition leads up to verse three. Again starting in an understated manner, Himes leads to a


glorious and broad climax that befits this gorgeous hymn. In of the outlining the melody the coda, Himes offers an while giving us chords moving inexorably towards the tonic. There is no single element in this arrangement that is unique to this work. However Himes has crafted a setting that can be both melodic, harmonically fascinating, and very gorgeous. From a haunting opening through a glorious climax to a satisfying and introverted close, he takes us on a journey with a familiar friend in an unfamiliar setting. It is masterful in its craft, but also affecting in its elegant simplicity.

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A Little Night and Day Music

Samuel Adler Carl Fischer Duration: c 7:00 Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens Samuel Adler (b. 1928) is a Professor of Composition at the Julliard School, having held similar posts at the University of North Texas and the Eastman School of Music. His output has included large scale works, including 5 operas and six symphonies, many concerti and choral works. His many works for band, stretching back to 1961, have become well established in the wind repertoire. A Little Night and Day Music (1976) as the title may suggest, is a work in two distinct sections; A Little Night Music and A Little Day Music. The opening A Little Night Music is highly atmospheric, using pyramid techniques to build often dissonant harmonies, often leading to unison or octave statements. This movement is somewhat dodecaphonic, and certainly uses advanced compositional techniques other than melody/ accompaniment to move the work forward. It is a fascinating movement for anyone interested in advanced serial techniques. The second section, A Little Day Music, is much brighter and somewhat more bombastic. Again we find the use of pyramids, to create loud dark sections, particularly in the brass. Juxtaposed against this are softer sections of melody, often sweet though occasionally quite moody. This is Day Music for a full day of action, with strongly dissonant chords, aggressive brass writing an pointillistic percussion set against more flowing woodwind lines. A Little Night and Day Music is a fascinating piece of music that eschews diatonic harmony. Rather, Adler explores color and often dissonant harmonies in a formal composition by a composer of considerable experience and training. This is not

a composition for the faint-hearted. Making A Little Night and Day Music work takes some thought and effort. However as an example of “modern” music of the 20th century, it is an outstanding example, and deserves a wide audience.

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Shepherd’s Hey Percy Grainger Carl Fischer Duration: approx 2:45 Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers Often performed as the second of a two-movement suite with “Irish Tune from County Derry,” this sprightly dance by Percy Grainger is a delightful, fanciful finale as companion to the stunningly beautiful Irish Tune. This is an elaborate work and a highly charged arrangement of a traditional English dancing tune. Grainger discovered this particular Morris Dance in the folk song collection of the musicologist Cecil Sharp who first heard this tune performed by a violinist of the Bidford Morris Dancers in 1906. As was his custom, Grainger set the tune in different versions ranging from solo piano to orchestra and wind orchestra, more commonly known as Military or Concert Band. This edition employs standard concert band instrumentation and percussion appropriate to the dance style. The charming dance is replete with Grainger’s original and masterful scoring as well as dazzling technique and articulation. There are passages of wonderfully delicate staccato, lyrical legato, as well as boisterous and belligerent marcato, all the while maintaining a compelling rhythmic drive. The music changes personality often, lilting along with gentle charm and grace and then suddenly bursting forth with aggression and bravado. Virtually all voices are challenged technically in that precision of articulation and rhythm are essential in maintaining its festive vitality. As Grainger takes us through several statements of each melody we are treated to sparkling colors and wonderfully original voicings. After statements in alternation between various combinations of woodwinds and brasses, the work evolves into a tutti finale that gradually accelerates into a splendid rush of technique

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and volume for a genuinely thrilling final statement. It is no wonder that this delightful work is often used as an encore; it is engaging and entertaining music, authentic to British tradition, which offers mature ensembles the opportunity to display their virtuosity.

The Circus Polka is a deeply rhythmical work, although it is also very witty in its use of interjections to create a feeling of a dancer moving in and out of step with the music. In particular the middle of the work features a great many pulse changing interjections that would not be out of place in some of Stravinskys earlier works. Towards the end, Stravinsky quotes Schubert’s Marche Militaire Francais in a tongue-in-cheek nod to the Polka that never quite settles into a meter. It is a surprisingly difficult piece to play, but a fine example of a great composer relaxing to enjoy his work. Witty and fun, this rarely performed work deserves a more regular place in our repertoire.

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Circus Polka

Stravinsky (arr. Raksin) Schott Duratiion: c 4:00 Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens Stravinsky’s Circus Polka may have as its genesis one of the most unusual pedigrees in the musical world. In 1941 Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus invited the famous choreographer George Balanchine to choreograph a dance for dancers and elephants. Balanchine suggested that Stravinsky write the music, which Stravinsky agreed but only (according to Balanchine) with the words “If they are young elephants, I will do it.” Accordingly, Stravinsky delivered the piano score to the work, entitled Circus Polka with the subtitle for a young elephant. The piano version was arranged for band and organ by David Raksin, an American composer with over 100 film scores to his credit, including some of the most famous films of the 40’s and 50’s. He later taught composition at the University of Southern California. and UCLA. It was this version that was premiered in 1942 in a performance involving fifty elephants and fifty ballerinas. It was deemed a success and ran for many performances, and Stravinsky later scored it for Orchestra.

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Starry Crown

Donald Grantham Piquant Press Duration: 14 mins Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens Donald Grantham is a much storied composer who is currently a Professor of Composition at the University of Texas in Austin. Amongst his awards the are Prix Lilli Boulanger and twice winning the ABA/Ostwald competition. His 1998 work for band Southern Harmony has become a much performed part of the modern repertory for winds. Grantham works are rarely without a sense of humor. His music is jazz-influence, strongly tonal, elegant and well constructed. Starry Crowni was written in 2007 to commemorate the retirement of John Whitwell as director of bands at Michigan State University. It is based on three gospel melodies, Some of These Days, Oh Rocks, Don’t Fall on Me, and When I Went Down to the Valley. The work will require the ensemble and the director to have a strong knowledge of a variety of styles, including a good understanding of the gospel traditions. The middle of the work includes a kind of “call and response” section that has been likened to the sermons of an old time gospel peacher. The outer sections exhibit great energy, and the five percussion parts, timpani and piano/celeste have a great many notes to play, Indeed the percussion writing (often written for a “trap set”) affect the style of a great deal of the work. This is a long work by a composer with a startling and well developed technical proficiency. His language is mature, and ensures that his musical message is a clear one. It demonstrates


outstanding understanding of style, and offers the audience an attractive and exciting work by a well established composer.

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The Solitary Dancer

Warren Benson Duration: 6:20 Carl Fischer Reviewer: Dr. John A. Darling Commissioned in 1966 by the Clarence (New York) Senior High School Band, Norbert J. Buskey, Director, The Solitary Dancer was at the time a truly one-ofkind piece in the history of band repertoire. It remains one of the most performed Benson compositions by bands and wind ensembles. It could be argued that The Solitary Dancer was the first piece written in the minimalist style for winds. The work is through-composed with all of the musical elements presented by Benson in the opening fifteen measures. The orchestration will provide some difficulty for less mature school programs. Alto clarinet parts, which at the time were commonly used instruments in band compositions, are essential. Additionally, there are parts for soprano saxophone, piano, two flugelhorns, and six percussionists. Some parts towards the end of the piece require singing. Although common practice now, the use of the human voice as a textural device was a relatively new technique in 1966. This piece is deceptive in its structure and form. To the untrained eye it may appear much easier than it really is. Clean articulations and exceptional breath control will be required from all parts. The players will find they cannot relax during any portion of this piece. Intonation and matching pitch will be a constant requirement as soloists and instrumental combinations pass elements from one section to the next. Rhythmic vitality and precise execution are necessary for a credible performance.

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Chester Leaps In

Steven Bryant Steven Bryant/Gorilla Salad Productions/Hal Leonard Duration 2:30 Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers Chester Leaps In is the first work in Steven Bryant’s Parody Suite, which consists of satirical and humorous casts of traditional band works. It is described by the composer as the humorous juxtaposition of two seriously different musical ideas: the first, the well known hymn by William Billings, Chester, and the second a raucous set of angular, dissonant, interruptions that are frenetic, gyrating chromaticisms that appear to have no premeditation nor intellectual significance to the work. The wild flashes of color and dynamic splashes of music are actually based on a single, original motive, however, though they are so loosely devised that is quite difficult to discern with a cursory look at the score. Suffice it to say, as in much of humor, surprises abound in this fresh, creative addition to the band literature. The composer speaks of the programmatic nature of the title in that the Chester theme does “leap in� at times in all its stately seriousness. When surrounded by the flourishes of the contemporary passages one might describe it as one dressed for a garden party arriving at a reception hosted by Salvadore Dali. Though the work is completely innovative and breaks with most all traditions of band literature, the instrumentation is for traditional band or wind ensemble. There is hilarity here, along with skillful scoring and significant technical challenges.

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Colors and Contours Leslie Bassett C.F. Peters Duration: c. 8:30 Reviewer: Dr. Alan

Lourens Pulitzer Prize winning composer Leslie Bassett is Professor Emeritus of composition at the University of Michigan. His long and distinguished career has included studies with Ross Lee Finney, Nadia Boulenger and Arthur Honegger, as well as being a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters. Post World War two in American saw many composers exploring ideas of color and sound rather than melodic and rhythmic intensity. These works ask the audience to bathe themselves in shifting tonalities and compound timbres and explore the soundscapes the emerge. Colors and Contours, as the title suggests, is a richly colored work that explores the boundaries of tonality and color in the wind medium. Like much of the work of Bassett, he eschews long melodic lines in favor of contrapuntal textures. This is a work that requires the ensemble and director to display a great understanding of balances and shape. It is a work punctuate by long notes and silences. The wind works of Bassett have not been played as much as they should. It is a work that takes some preparation. This work will not give students many melodic lines upon which to emote. Rather they require an intellectual engagement and an openness to connect with ideas of sound rather than the more visceral feelings of trite melodic structure. As a contribution to the wind repertoire, Colors and Contours is an outstanding example of the American work in post world war II.

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Hill Song No. 2

Percy Grainger Duration: c. 5 mins Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens Percy Grainger (1882-1961) is a composer claimed by three countries. Born in Australia, he is most famous for his impressive settings of English Folksong; and he lived the vast majority of his life in White Plains, New York. For much of his life, Grainger was know as a pianist rather than a composer, and his interpretation of the Grieg Piano Concerto is still noted today (and occasionally performed through the player-piano rolls he left). His love of winds lead him to learn to play them all, but he became an outstanding exponent and advocate for the Saxophone, and more specifically, the Alto Saxophone. His most famous work, Country Gardens, was made famous as a piece of popular music of the early 20th century. However he came to despise that work’s stereotypical structure and harmonies. Grainger’s wind output is most regularly remembered through Lincolnshire Posy, or Irish Tune from County Derry. However his original works (not settings of folksong) show us a man whose feeling for melody, harmony and, most innovatively, scoring for winds is the product of genius. The two Hill Songs by Grainger use very similar melodic material. They are however, greatly different in the use of material, with Hill Song No. 1 being far more expansive. Grainger saw this work as his “most perfect” in both scoring and development of ideas. History has, however, rated the second Hill Song as being far more regularly performed. Emerging from Grainger’s experiments with wind instruments and begun in 1901, but not completed until 1907, Hill Song No 2 is dedicated to British composer (and friend of Grainger) Balfour Gardiner. Although the work appeared in various guises beforehand, the premier of this work had to wait until 1929,


and Grainger introduced yet another scoring. In writing the Hill Songs, Grainger was trying to evoke the natural beauty of the English countryside. The beginning, marked in the Graingeresque “Fierce and keen, at a fast walking pace” shows us that the Hill Song means business. This is no meandering fuzzy picture of Hills, but a musical imagery with purpose. It is Grainger showing us not just the greenness of the hills, but the rocks, fissures, wildlife and darkness that the hills hold as well. The Hill Songs generally (and Hill Song No 2 in particular) are a fine example of the early work of Grainger. Wandering tonality, long flowing lines and rhythmic ambiguity place him at the forefront of the musical ideas of this period. They are the works of a true genius.

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Divertimento for Band

Vincent Persichetti Theodore Presser Duration: c. 11:00 Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens Vincent Persichetti (1917-1987) was one of the leaders in the development of wind repertoire with a series of works beginning in the 1950’s. A teacher of composition at the Julliard School, Persichetti also influenced a generation of American composers. His composition style in distinctly polytonal, favoring stacks of 2 diatonic chords and dissonant melodic combinations. Though by far the largest part of his output was for Piano, it is his wind works that have became the most enduring of his works. In particular, his Symphony No 6 for band (1956) has entered the core of the repertoire at the highest level. Persichetti’s Divertimento (1950) is the earliest of Perschetti’s works for band. Of this work, Persichetti wrote that after writing the introduction using choirs of Winds and Brass, with a timpani interpolation “...I realized the strings weren’t going to

enter”. Thus the work was conceived as a kind of symphonic work, without strings. Set in six movements, the Divertimento offers a number of vignettes for band. All the movement titles have affective meanings: Prologue, Song, Dance, Burlesque, Soliloquy and March. In this work, we hear the trademark polytonality of Persichetti. We begin to see the development of strong a vibrant percussion writing (there being 4 percussion parts, a large number for this period), and expressive and characteristic writing for both the winds and the brass becomes evident through the work. The movements reflect quite different styles. The lyrical Song and Soliloquy is set against the rhythmic Dance and the witty Burlesque. Against a background of most folk and folk-like settings in the wind repertoire, the Divertimento began a move towards a more symphonic repertoire in which solos abound, and scoring is often done with a light touch, particularly in the inner movements. In the Divertimento we see landmark work. Along with the Hindemith Symphony in B Flat of 1951, we see wind composers shaking free of traditional diatonic harmonies towards a more daring polytonal or pan-diatonic approach, focusing on scoring melodic lines instead of harmonic function. These works of the 1950’s are seminal in the development of wind literature. The Divertimento is one of the earliest works by a noted American composer in the post World War II era that gave us the modern band movement. For that reason, it is important in the repertoire. That it is a well crafted, lyrical and witty work makes it part of the core of our literature.

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Chester

William Schuman Merion Music, Inc./Theodore Presser Duration 6:00 Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers Chester was originally the third movement of the “New England Triptych” for orchestra by William Schuman. Schuman later revised and extended the orchestral version and scored the result for concert band. Since its publication in 1957 it has been a notable part of the significant literature for concert band. The original melody and words of this revolutionary war marching song were penned by the early-American composer, William Billings in a popular book of the times, “The Singing Master’s Assistant.” The concert

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band version takes the colonial melody, presents it in chorale style reminiscent of the various hymns composed by William Billings, and then casts the tune into a contemporary setting that evokes a sense of conflict and war. Indeed, just before the end of the second statement of the chorale, Schuman alarms us with a sudden dissonance that foreshadows the coming battles. At first establishing the march-like character of the melody through a statement accompanied by simple and direct rhythms, Schuman then develops fragments of the melody by gradually adding complexity in short bursts of color, and flourishes of rhythm. The percussion section is noticeably sparse through much of the work but does appear sporadically reminding the listener of the origin of the melody as a marching song, often performed by fife and drums. The development continues and ultimately reaches a height of driving rhythmic intensity before the return of the original melody in the simplest of terms stated by solo trumpet, three trombones, and snare drum. Schuman then expands the instrumentation and dynamic reaching a most satisfying finale complete with cries of victory and celebration. The final six measure of the work featuring the here-to-fore limited percussions is one of the most stirring finales in all literature for concert band. Instrumentation is that of the traditional concert band.

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a brief, quiet respite before the church bells and fireworks again erupt into another celebration. Reed captures a parade at noon with characteristic Latin rhythmic and melodic motives, replete with mariachi trumpets beginning the procession which, is then followed by a wildly exciting Aztec dance. This is frenzied music at its best with driving rhythms, ample percussion, and explosive rushes of sound depicting the plumed and masked dancers. The second movement, Mass, is a somber, reflective, and still, very powerful reminder that the fiesta is a religious celebration, a time for contemplation and worship. The third movement, Carnival, provides circus music, the bustle of the market place, the bullfight, the town band and the ever-present cantinas with their mariachi bands. Reed captures the wild exuberance of all of these scenes with folk music that is enhanced by a contemporary symphonic kaleidoscope of sound. The movement builds throughout arriving at the final 24 measures with a compelling sense of urgency and rhythmic drive to a powerful finale of exultation. Each of the movements are self -contained and can effectively be performed separately, though the entire symphony is so undeniable, one is driven to program and perform the work in its entirety. The publisher, with Reed’s permission, has provided ample cues to make the work adaptable to smaller bands.

G RA D E A Mexican Folk Song Symphony H. Owen Reed Alfred Publishing Duration 21:40 (From Score) Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers H. Owen Reed composed La Fiesta Mexicana, A Mexican Folk Song for Concert Band in 1949 and dedicated it to the United States Marine Band, Lt. Col. William F. Santelmann, conductor. The three-movement symphony was inspired by a six month tour of Mexico while Reed was continuing his study of North American music. It holds a well-earned place in the history of literature for wind bands due to its authenticity, originality, and rhythmic energy. The first movement, Prelude and Aztec Dance, announces the opening of the fiesta with the tolling of church bells and the explosion of fireworks, then settles in for

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La Fiesta Mexicana H.

Legacies

Clint Needham Manhattan Beach Music Duration 6:26 Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers Advocates of minimalist music will be pleased to discover that emerging and popular form so successfully espoused by Phillip Glass and John Adams in a new work for concert band by Clint Needham. Purists might disagree with the assignation, as Needham, like all talented and creative composers, does not adhere to a strict formula for the construction, but rather borrows several minimalistic elements for the construction of this charming and exciting work. The rapid tempo of the opening (quarter note = 152) includes meters which alternate between 3/4 and 7/8 with occasional divergences


to 5/8 which are used as transitional material. The repeating upper winds are accompanied by lovely lyrical lines, primarily in the French horn, which gradually increase in duration and become the central melodic theme of the work. Indeed, French horn sections in any band will be pleased to find themselves the productin of both dramatic and inspiring repetitions of the main theme. This is followed by an ethereal and transparent woodwind choir with solos for both piccolo and English horn. The choir gradually increases in depth and complexity arriving at a full blown extravaganza of sound. Holding nothing back, Needham calls for a dynamic of four f ’s at the climax. A reprise of the opening section occurs next followed by a brief development of the primary themes and leading to a spectacular finale (kicked up one more notch to quarter note = 160) replete with soaring lines, cascading percussion, driving rhythms, and expansive dynamics. The score is constructed with traditional concert band instrumentation in mind, but does include the welcome and aforementioned English horn, as well as celeste, piano, and virtually every mallet percussion instrument. Indeed the percussion section combined with the highly rhythmic and percussive patterns in the upper woodwinds are the driving force in this highly energetic work. One might be reminded of music from Hollywood when encountering Legacies, but do not be fooled. There is much more depth and value here than that of film scores.

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March from Symphonic Metamorphosis Of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber Paul Hindemith Transcribed by Keith Wilson Schott

Duration: 4:38 Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers Long a favorite of advanced ensemble conductors and players due to its power, drama, and fearsome energy, this transcribed symphonic march has been programmed frequently since its original publication in 1972. The original version by Paul Hindemith is the fourth movement of his orchestral suite, Symphonic Metamorphosis on themes by Carl Maria von Weber. Hindemith took themes from incidental music by Weber written for a play, and Keith Wilson has set the orchestral version for concert band. The march begins with an ominous, nearly halting call by trumpets and trombones establishing one of the primary

motives for the work. This foundational element dominates the opening strain with repeated and insistent use of dotted eighth and sixteenth, as well as the expanded dotted quarter and dotted half note rhythms. The march projects an aggressive militarism throughout which is boldly declared in the first and second strains. An heroic horn choir then ensues accompanied by the rapid gun-fire of articulated staccato triplets in the woodwinds, leading to a reversal of roles where the woodwinds take over the heroic theme accompanied by staccato brasses. Following a welcome respite during which both dynamics and orchestration are reduced, the work builds to a bold, defiant final statement complete with ascending lines and nearly manic repetitions of the primary motive to a most stirring conclusion. Keith Wilson has provided concert bands and wind ensembles with an authentic rendition of a symphonic masterpiece. The scoring for this version is quite symphonic in nature befitting its original source; Wilson includes English Horn, Bb Contrabass Clarinet, Contrabassoon, and both Cornet and Trumpet parts. He also resists the temptation to add to the rather spartan percussion writing in the orchestral version. Hindemith, long an advocate of music composed for students, would be most pleased with this addition to the literature for concert band.

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Hammersmith

Gustav Holst Booxey & Hawkes Duration: c. 13:30 Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens Holst’s third work for Military Band followed some nineteen years after the composition of his Second Suite in F. The period 1911-1930 saw huge changes in the world. World War I, the roaring twenties and, just as this work was published, the beginning of the great depression affected day to day life in Great Britain. Holst was not to know it, but the British Empire had seen the end of its glory days; the new world was beginning to assert itself. In the musical world, a great deal had changed as well. Stravinsky had premiered Firebird and The Rite of Spring; Schoenberg and Pierrot Lunaire had gained in popularity and his treatise “Method of composing with twelve tones which are related only to each other” had described the tenets of serialism. Into this world the BBC commissioned Holst to write a new work for band. Unlike his previous works, this one had a performing group in mind, and it was a fine ensemble,

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removing any technical barriers that Holst may have felt in the first two suites. The result, written in 1930 but not premiered until 1932, was Hammersmith, a “Prelude and Scherzo” describing that part of London where Holst spent a great deal of his time. As a young composer, Holst accepted two important teaching posts. One was at the St Paul’s School for Girls in Hammersmith, London. Some five miles from the centre of London, Hammersmith sits on the bank of river Themes, and is a thriving population center. The work Hammersmith describes the area in an ambivalent and curious way. Unlike the Suites, which are firmly grounded in diatonic keys, Hammersmith is more flowing, beginning even giving us both E Flat and F minor with the flowing bassline against a dark flowing theme presented initially in the horns. This prelude represents the river which, Holst said “...goes on its way unnoticed and unconcerned,” while the following scherzo, much more capricious and witty, represents the people of the markets and lanes of Hammersmith. Introduced first in the clarinet, the scherzo theme quickly morphs from a simple duple to compound duple time, again presenting the duality and business of this part of London. In comparing the Suites and Hammersmith it is surprising to note the journey of the composer. Hammersmith, though less obviously tonal and lyrical is far more robust and rigorous in its construction. Written just four years before his death, and well regarded by those of study the repertoire, Hammersmith represents a masterwork by a composer at the height of his formidable powers.

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Fugue a la Gigue

J.S. Bach Transcribed by Gustav Holst Edited by Jon Ceander Mitchell Boosey and Hawkes Duration: 3:00 Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers This small gem, a mere three minutes in length, comes to the band world through a circuitous path ranging from J.S. Bach to Gustav Holst, who set it for military band, and finally to Jon Ceander Mitchell who has provided a most scholarly edition. Jon Ceander Mitchel states that Holst derived this work from Fugue in G Major (BWV 577) for organ after claiming that he, Holst, had always considered this particular fugue to be ill suited

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for organ. Holst scored it for military band and for orchestra as well, though he felt that the version for band would be “richer and more effective.” The band version consists of twenty-two individual parts, with traditional military band instrumentation, but with no percussion. A master of scoring for military band as evidenced by his suites in Suites in F and Eb for military band, Holst brings his skills and insight to the wind world once again in this authentic rendition of a Baroque fugue. The fugue is in 12/8 meter and requires agile technique from virtually all twenty two parts including trombone, euphonium, and tuba, each of whom is required to duplicate subjects also stated in the upper winds. The lines in the trombone and tuba are at times presented in alternating divisi, but it is certain that neither Holst nor Mitchell would object if more advanced performers were to play the lines in their entirety—an exciting technical challenge. This transcription evidences the baroque prescriptions for fugues, with the statement of subjects and countersubjects skillfully assigned by Holst for maximum effectiveness. The “gigue” here is established with articulated patterns in compound meter confirming a dance-like nature to the work. Holst also employs fluid, slurred lines for contrast, before returning to a dynamic and powerful tutti final statement that truly dances right off the page. The long tradition of providing bands with works from the masters is well represented in this charming adaption for military band.

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Variations on “America” Charles Ives Transcribed William E. Rhoads Based on the Orchestra Version by William Schuman Merion Music/Theodore Presser

Approximately 7:00 Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers Legend has it that Charles Ives would return from a concert or recital of his music, and when his wife asked him “Did the audience like your music?” he would answer, “No, they hated it, isn’t it wonderful!?” Clearly decades ahead of his time, Ives wrote in polytonalities and awkward polyrhythms and often with gleeful dissonance. His quirky sense of humor and audacity is clearly in evidence in his Variations on “America” composed for organ and first performed by the composer in recital (circa 1890.) This version, derived from the orchestral version set by


William Schuman, has been transcribed by William Rhoads for modern concert band, and includes all of the eccentricities and departures from tradition, many of which were introduced by Ives and later became accepted compositional techniques of the twentieth century. It is set for standard concert band instrumentation and calls for three percussionists plus timpani. The work begins with the familiar “My Country Tis of Thee” melody in fanfare form, followed by a dainty recitation replete with grace notes, and then proceeds though five variations. It includes: the first with a running line rife with sixteenth and thirty second note passages, a variation with extremely close harmonies; a march; a polonaise; and a spirited rag time allegro. The music sputters and starts and has startling changes of mood and style, shifting from belligerent to morose as it meanders through five changes of key signature with liberal use of chromaticism to achieve the aforementioned polytonality. This is an extremely challenging work both in terms of technical difficulty and the necessity of adapting to its many moods and styles. Of particular note are solo passages for two piccolos and solo trumpets in divisi. Ives may have been the first truly original American composer to achieve international acclaim, and it is fortunate that the band world is able to experience his groundbreaking methods through this thoroughly entertaining and at times irreverent piece of music.

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Dance Rhythms, Op. 58a

Wallingford Riegger Associated Music Publishers/ G.Schirmer/Hal Leonard Duration: 8:00 min. Reviewer: Dr. Keith W. Kinder Dance Rhythms, Op.58 was composed for orchestra in 1954. It was re-scored for band (Op. 58a) by the composer shortly afterward, and this second version was published in 1956. Today, the band setting is considerably better known than the original. Like many other American composers of his time, Riegger took an eclectic approach to composition, but in this work he adopted the Neo-Romantic style infused with folk elements that is associated with American composers such as Aaron Copland and William Schuman. Starting in the 1930s, Riegger wrote numerous Modern Dance pieces for prominent companies and individuals, including Martha Graham. His fascination with

dance continued throughout his life. Dance Rhythms reflects the composer’s interest in dance music, although it was not written specifically for choreography. A bright rhythmic context is immediately established through metre shifts between 3/4 and 2/4, off-the-beat accents and unexpected use of dynamics. When the main theme appears at bar seven, it enhances these devices while also offering a gracious, tuneful melody that is reminiscent of folk dance and set in mixolydian mode. The remainder of the “A” section consists of short segments that repeat the main theme in a multitude of contrasted scorings or reiterate introductory material. At bar 23 a second lyrical theme, set in long notes and comprising many wide skips, is introduced in counterpoint against primary melody. Both themes are fragmented and developed, either independently or in counterpoint. This section reaches a climax at bar 85 with the full band playing for the first time. The “B” section is called a Trio. The segmented character of the initial section is continued through motivic development of both themes. The major climax is reached at bar 120 and is sustained for 20 bars during which a bass melody is ornamented by modal sweeps in high woodwinds and brass, and by additional lines of counterpoint based on motives from the main theme. A fragmented transition leads to a da capo of the A section. Reigger’s use of rhythm, melodic development, harmony and scoring is totally captivating. The rhythmic/metric devices mentioned earlier are repeated to provide integration, but unexpected applications appear abruptly, providing many delightful surprises. Every melodic gesture is linked to motives from the two themes, which are themselves related, however, the composer finds many ways to keep the development fresh. Harmonically, the work might be described as “pan-diatonic”, since pitch centres are discernable, even though the harmony does not strictly adhere to tonal patterns and modal elements are also present. Reigger has an amazing comprehension of instrumental color. The full ensemble is rarely deployed, and he has designed numerous imaginative timbral mixes that are constantly blending into each other. With its transparent textures, highly colored soundscape and genial good nature, Dance Rhythms is unusual and rewarding band music that is firmly rooted in American music of the 1950s, but is decidedly distinctive as well.

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Symphonies of Wind Instruments

Stravinsky Boosey & Hawkes Duration: c. 10:00 Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens Russian born composer Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) is recognized as one of the most influential and important composers of the twentieth century. He is a key member of several of the most important movements of the century; first his Ballets Firebird (1910), and Rite of Spring (1913) brought the world a new way to use dissonance and rhythmic juxtaposition, then as a key member of the Neo-Classical movement in the 1920’s, and later as a composer of serial (twelve-tone) music. Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments is a work of great construction, at times dark and brooding, and others light and almost wistful. Although not well received at its premiere, it has become one of the minor masterworks of Stravinsky’s oeuvre. Like many of his works, it comes in two distinct versions; the 1921 version for 24 winds (3 flutes, alto flute, 2 oboes cor anglais, 2 clarinets, alto clarinet in F, 3 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones and tuba) and the slightly shorter 1947 version omitting the alto flute and replacing the Alto Clarinet with B Flat Clarinet. Both versions are regularly heard in performance. Stravinsky’s use of Symphonies (rather than Symphony) is quite deliberate. This is not symphonic in structure, format or length, but rather based on the idea of sounding together. The work includes three distinct ideas, and an overall binding chorale, presented in 3 different though closely related tempi. The first, a striking idea presented at the opening, appears in the clarinets in their upper register. The second, a meandering but very pretty melody appears initially in the flute, while the third—a brisk march-like idea—appears initially in the brass. The ideas are held together by an interspersed chorale that appears in full at the close. Introspective, rich and dark, it binds the work through its regular appearances, and offers a satisfying (and gorgeous) chord at the close. Stravinsky’s trademark unsettled rhythms are here. Like the Rite of Spring, written just 8 years earlier, this is a work that will challenge musicians rhythmically. The meter is often counterintuitive, and great concentration is required from all musicians; most especially the conductor. There are few sections with the same meter longer than a few bars. The result, however will be a masterwork of the 20th century.

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It has been hugely influential in the development of wind repertoire, and will richly reward anyone who will take the time to perform it.

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From a Dark Millennium

Joseph Schwantner Schott Helicon Duration: c. 12:00 Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens Pulitzer Prize winning composer Joseph Schwanter is one of the foremost living American composers. His prolific output includes works for winds, orchestra and chamber music. Music by Schwantner includes an eclectic mix of musical influences, from minimalism to impressionism. In 2002, Joseph Schwanter became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, From a Dark Millennium is the second of three works (the Trilogy) for winds that have a similar style of composition. The first (…and the mountains rising nowhere) was commissioned by Donald Hunsberger and the Eastman Wind Ensemble in 1977, while the third (In evening’s stillness) was commissioned by the Illinois College Band Directors Association in 1996. Of these three works, Schwanter has suggested that the works might be performed together, and that the performance order would be …and the mounitains rising nowehere, In evening’s stillness and From a dark millenium. The instrumentation for these works omits parts for Saxophones or Euphonium, representing as it does effectively quadruple winds of an orchestra (1 Picc, 3 Flutes, 3 Oboes, Cor Anglais, 3 Bassoons, Contra-Bassoons), 3 Trumpets, 3 Trombones and Tuba). In addition, there is a considerable number of percussion required, and most important to all three of these works is the central role of an amplified piano. The scores for these works are presented in a open format. Sometimes the conductor is faced with traditional notation in bars and meters. Other times Schwanter suggests a duration for a particular section, or a series of musical gestures. It is this juxtaposition of tonal, semi-tonal and sonic elements that allows this music to unfold with drama end energy. From a Dark Millenium is a remarkable work from a remarkable trilogy. Full of sweeping gestures, grand phrases as well as intricate and delicate percussive work, it is a work that makes considerable demands of the conductor and players alike.


Remarkably, given its complexity, the work is accessible to audiences and presents an intellectual, emotional and musical rigor not often found in a single work of the wind repertoire.

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A Child’s Garden of Dreams

David Maslanka Carl Fischer Duration: c. 29 Mins Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens The work of American Composer David Maslanka is rich with symbolism and his deep sense of spirituality. A Child’s Garden of Dreams (1981), is based upon the dreams of a young girl as reported by the acclaimed Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung. The child wrote the dreams into a diary, and they are, for a ten-year-old, intricate and not a little disturbing. For example the dream of the opening movement is entitled There is a desert on the moon where the dreamer sinks so deeply into the ground that she reaches hell. Sadly, the child at the centre of the study died less than a year after writing down these dreams. Jung saw these elaborate dreams as a kind of precursor to her own demise; the psyche preparing for death. Maslanka’s work sets five of these dreams in varied but fascinating ways. He calls on found themes (Black is the Color of my True Love’s Hair) as well as a wealth of original material to express these images. Though ultimately dark, the music has many lively and beautiful moments. Maslanka has demonstrated exceptional scoring, and great technical facility in writing this work. However, it is his ability to draw and sustain the emotional scope of the work that makes it an extraordinary piece. From its quiet opening to its abrupt and startling close, it is a work that exhibits the emotional power of music at its finest. A Child’s Garden of Dreams has been consistently rated at or near the top of masterworks for winds in the twentieth century. It is complex, both musically and emotionally, that requires a mature reflection to realize, but this is work that has the power to change the way people think about wind music.

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A Child’s Garden of Dreams

David Maslanka Carl Fischer Duration: 29:39 Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers David Maslanka took inspiration from an article by Carl Jung describing a set of dreams had by a young girl with portents of horrific events as well as redemption. The work commissioned by John and Marietta Paynter of Northwestern University, depicts five of the twelve dreams cited by Jung. With journeys to both hell and heaven the scope of the program of the work is truly infinite. Maslanka describes the orchestration as for Symphonic Wind Ensemble, though there are so many additions and variations to traditional instrumentation that it would be impossible to list them here. Let it be said that Maslanka does not hesitate to explore virtually every possibility of creating sounds with wind and percussion instruments from wind mouthpieces and crystal glasses to over fifty percussion instruments. It is truly an exploration into the infinite number of possibilities of the percussion section, much like the infinite scope of the subject matter of the dreams. The first movement/dream depicts a desert on the moon where the dreamer descends into hell. Maslanka creates an atmospheric sense that is both impressionistic and powerful. The idyll of the desert set with a sense of ominous peace descends to hell with a vengeance before fading away to nothingness. The second movement captures a dream of a drunken woman falling into water and coming out redeemed. The serenely beautiful effect is achieved here by haunting dissonances and delicate scoring. The third movement is a rapid, chaotic rush of percussion and wind flourishes depicting a horde of small animals which frighten the dreamer and grow to tremendous size until one of them devours the little girl. The origin of the world in a drop of water inspires the fourth movement and Maslanka once again does not shirk from exploring cosmic forces. From the gentle drop of water to the cataclysmic forces that form the world, the movement imagines sounds as creative forces and thus they appear in overwhelming variety and energy. The final movement depicts an ascent into heaven where pagan dances are being celebrated and a descent into hell where angels are doing good deeds. The music chosen here is both joyful and celebratory and at the same time primitive and powerful. This is an epic work deserving of serious study and performance. It will challenge the most advanced ensembles, not only for its technical and nearly pyrotechnic demands of the players, but

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also challenge the most mature of musicians with its scope and drama. Indeed, when one has chosen to depict such infinite and timeless ideas and forces, it is incumbent on composer, conductor and performers to understand the complexity, which when examined, reveals a beautiful and serene simplicity. Truly a master work.

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Symphony No. 2

David Maslanka Carl Fischer Duration: c. 1:05:00 Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens Maslanka’s Second Symphony (1983), written just two years after A Child’s Garden of Dreams is a more formally constructed work that is also more tautly constructed. Cast in three movements (rather than the four movement construction more traditional to a symphony), the two outer movements are fairly straightforward Sonata forms; a mildly trained ear should hear the exposition, development and recapitulation. Maslanka’s musical language, however, remains compelling and focussed. His language is at times harsh, at others lyric and flowing. In this work the conventions of diatonic harmonies do occasionally appear; for large stretches we are hearing music based on polytonal and highly dissonant techniques. In addition the technical demands are high. This is a work that will stretch the technique of most players. The middle movement opens with Deep River. The last movement fairly gallops along, with the inexorable push of the movement driving us to the close. It is a movement to fire the imagination and will ensure the musicians stay wide awake. The harmonic language becomes more complex as the work progresses, and as we descend into polytonality, it is hard to see the way home. Maslanka moves us deftly forward with an almost minimalist pulse underlaying a lyrical and broad line. As we move towards the recapitulation, Maslanka again ties us into polychords until the safety of the recapitulation returns us comfortable ground. The coda features heavy lines from the brass, again masking the pulse that remains under longer lines. A horn flourish, and the end is upon us. Literally as the work was finished the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger occurred. Maslanka decided to dedicate the symphony to the memory of those who perished.

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This is an imposing work. In a symphony one would expect a tension between the formal (construction) elements and the more affective elements in a large scale work. Maslanka has balanced those elements in a work of great depth and breadth. His Symphony No. 2 us an excellent example of a composer using a large scale work to make a statement.

Grand Central Station

Michael Torke Boosey & Hawkes Duration: c. 6:30 Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens Michael Torke is an American composer whose music is best described as Post-minimalist. This style takes the idea of a paucity of melodic material and a strong pulse espoused by the minimalists (of which Phillip Glass and John Adams are amongst the most famous), but further develops the melodic ideas with a more organic and less linear style. Torke also writes works based firmly in the diatonic language of the minimalists. Torke has written highly successful works for Orchestra, including a number of Ballet works, and commissions from such noted organizations as the Atlanta Symphony and New York Philharmonic. Grand Central Station was commissioned by the Goldman Memorial Band in 2000, and includes the bustle and energy you expect of a portrait of such a busy railway station. It opens with a strong melodic theme that is worked throughout the work’s develoopment. Though not minimalist, this melodic theme is clearly evident in most of the work, but in various guises. Grand Central Station has a driving melodic flow, and will need to be taken at the written tempo to maintain interest for the audience. At the written tempi, there is much work for the ensemble, most particularly in some of the flowing and complex lines of the woodwinds. Torke writes some very complex rhythmic lines that will need great accuracy, particularly from the brass. This is a work that is tautly constructed, and an outstanding example of using a minimum of melodic material to spin out an interesting composition. If developing musical material is important to you, this is a masterclass in how to do so.


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Cantus Laetus

David Gillingham C. Alan Publications Duration: 15:45 Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens David Gillingham is Professor of Composition at the Central Michigan University, and has composed many works for Bands. His 1989 work Heroes, Lost and Fallen won the Barlow Competition and brought his works to the attention of a wider audience; he has over 70 compositions to his name, most in the wind medium. Cantus Laetus (Latin for Joyful Noise) was written in 2000, and was commissioned by the University of Georgia Bands under Dwight Satterwight. The work is based on the gregorian chant Veni Creator Spiritus (Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blessed) attributed to Rabanus Maurus in the 9th century. Other composers to base works on this hymn include Mahler, Haffner, Berlioz and Hindemith. It is written for a large ensemble and, characteristically for Gillingham, for a large array of percussion. A piano and harp are also required. The work is in five sections. The three middle sections, Calamus (Latin for Reed or Cane), Aes (Metal), and Ictus (stroke or thrust) feature the woodwind brass and percussion, respectively. They are framed by an Initium (entrance)and Finis (end), which feature the entire ensemble. Gillingham’s style is melodic and energetic. He uses fully functional harmonies with excellent use of scoring, and particularly effective percussion writing. As they are based on the same chant, the sections relate well to each other. The greatest challenge in Gillingham is his rhythmic complexity. Cantus Laetus has many time changes, and requires a conductor to offer a carefully measured and clear direction to the ensemble. Nevertheless, the work is an attractive one, with great energy and melodic intensity. The harmonic language is complex but tonal, and while the work is undoubtedly a technical challenge, it remains both interesting and exciting, a worthy large-scale work for band.

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Bells for Stokowski

Michael Daugherty Peer Music Duration: c 14 mins Reviewer: Dr. Alan Lourens Michael Daugherty is a composer whose works for winds, though small in number, have a great impact on the repertoire. He is professor of composition at the University of Michigan, having previously held a similar post at Oberlin. Daugherty’s work is best described as Post-Modern, although he is also states that he is influenced by romanticism and popular culture. His music is often well constructed and features a strong use of bold gestures. His Red Cape Tango, one movement of the Metropolis Symphony, is widely performed, in an arrangement by Mark Spede. Bells for Stokowksi was originally written for the Philadelphia Orchestra as part of Philadelphia Stories, Daugherty’s third symphony. The title recalls Leopold Stokowski, one of the most famous conductors of the Philadelphia Orchestra, who was responsible for both stretching the orchestral repertoire and popularizing classical music (not least with his appearance in the original Fantasia by Disney). Daugherty himself transcribed the work for band at the behest of a consortium of universities. Daugherty’s bells open the work, and an orchestral journey begins that will take us through both original music, and in the centre of the work, a transcription of Bach’s C Major Prelude—as well as some original Daugherty in the style of Bach. This represents Stokowksi’s willingness to employ Bach (in transcription) with the Philadelphia Orchestra; a desire to make Bach more widely accessible to the public. Daugherty’s own skillful use of his thematic material takes Bach (and Daugherty-Bach) on journeys to places Bach would never have gone. This use of poly-rhythmic and complex musical development push this work forward through at times intricate, at times muscular development. The result is a work that is both difficult and attractive. Demanding on players and conductor alike, the work is a larger scale piece that requires the conductor to have an overview. The result, however, is a work that audience will find captivating.

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Slalom

Carter Pann Theodore Presser Duration: 9:30 Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers Carter Pann employs a Beethoven quotation to signal the start of a thrilling and exhausting downhill run in “Slalom,” a work originally composed for orchestra and now transcribed by the composer for Wind Symphony. The programmatic nature of the work is maintained with the startling effect of continuous downhill motion at break neck speed, even though many of the figures are actually ascending through the score, a brilliant compositional achievement. Pann continues the narrative with several clues as to the individual inspirations from his own skiing exploits, including “First Run” “Open Meadow,” “Champagne Powder,” “Straight Down,” “TUCK,” and “On one sky gyrating.” The work presents two primary musical ideas, the first a highly technical test of endurance that consists of rapid unyielding flourishes of notes that scurry frantically throughout the work recalling the original title “Scherzo Perpetuo.” The score indicates a tempo marking of 162 to the quarter note with the proviso of “or even faster.” Indeed, the composer warns conductors and performers that much of the effect of the work will be lost if the tempo is not both observed and maintained These passages are quite minimalistic in nature though Pann does not remain with any one concept for very long, rather moving quickly from impressionistic image to impressionistic image. The second and most charming idea is a series of hauntingly beautiful chorales which underscore the fluttering winds with themes that are at once engaging and also full of rich contemporary harmonies and soaring melodic material. Pann achieves a work of symphonic scope with many themes, motives, and effects returning in a logical and satisfying cascade of mesmerizing repetition. Themes are mimicked by motives, motives predict themes, and there are so many mutual reflections of compositional devices that it is almost dizzying. He even returns to the Beethoven quote signaling a formal recapitulation. This unity in a work that appears at first to be merely busy, is really quite staggering. There are many special effects here as well, sound effects, visual effects, and musical effects such as glissando, creative use of percussion, and even instruments that must be procured from the composer himself. Instrumentation is expanded from the traditional symphonic band, including 4 flute lines, 6 Clarinets, 6 Trumpets, 3 Euphoniums, and 3 Tubas. Piano also figures

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prominently throughout, not to mention harp and celeste. There are over thirty-five percussion instruments called for. One cannot help but smile as one listens to this work; it is full of joy, energy, and exhilaration, and one might be tempted to relate this work to the movie theater or a Walt Disney score, but that would be a mistake. There is much more here than the popular media offers; this is a work that combines intellectual complexity with artistic merit and yields joy, no small accomplishment.

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Terpsichore

Bob Margolis (after Michael Praetorius) Manhattan Beach Music Duration: 23:00 Reviewer: Gregory B. Rudgers This monumental work by Bob Margolis holds a singular place in wind literature due to the distinguished research which took place for its creation, the range of instrumentation and dynamics, and the fusing of the contemporary wind band with music from the Renaissance to yield a fascinating and at times bewildering work for winds. Margolis has chosen over fifteen works by Michael Praetorius as the basis for a four movement suite, skillfully adapting the results of his painstaking analysis of the originals to befit a modern setting. The composer provides extensive program notes for the historical basis, orchestration, and derivation from the originals. This if a work that skillfully combines the world of the mind with the thrilling nature of the reckless abandon of dancers driven to exhilaration and joy. As befitting all dance music, the percussion writing here is of utmost importance. Margolis provides the conductor and percussionists with a detailed description of the percussion score utilizing fully six players and over fifty percussion instruments. The first movement begins with a quiet invocation and continues into a wild a savage street scene with constant unpredictability including speed, energy, and flexibility. The original Renaissance dance occurs here as well, juxtaposed against the flourishes of its progeny. The second movement also begins with gentleness, this time a flock of gently chirping birds, before it too evolves into brazen ballet and jumping dances. One is reminded of Stravinsky ballet music and at the same time constantly reminded that this is music derived from a completely different era. The third movement is a series of bright and transparent Bourees and ends with perhaps the most traditional sounds of the wind band of the Renaissance. And the fourth, the longest and most complex of the four begins with solo organ


and dances through a series of tunes that feature the individual instrument choirs of the band and then concludes with an exhilarating and rhythmic Volte. There are so many innovations of instrumentation and orchestration in this extensive work, including solo passages for some sadly neglected instruments, that it is quite impractical to name them all. Suffice it so say that by employing virtually every wind instrument known along with harp, organ and the percussion instruments cited above, bands will discover new, fresh, and intriguing colors heretofore not encountered by the modern wind band. Bands willing to accept the challenge of this magnum opus by a gifted and intelligent composer will reap significant rewards.

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G RA D E

Winds of Nagual

Michael Colgrass Duration: 25:15 Carl Fischer Reviewer: Dr. John A. Darling Winds of Nagual, subtitled “A Musical Fable for Wind Ensemble on the Writings of Carlos Castaneda,” was commissioned by the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble, Frank Battisti, Conductor, and was premiered on February 14, 1985. There is no doubt that this is a landmark composition, unique and unprecedented at the time of its publication. There were many compositions in the wake of this masterpiece that might not have been inspired if not for the orchestration, textures, and brilliant melodic development created by Colgrass for this piece. Clearly written in the tradition of the late nineteenth-century composer Richard Strauss, Winds of Nagual is a masterful example of a tone poem. The “program” is based on the writings of Carlos Castaneda (specifically the first book of his trilogy “Tales of Power”) and his fourteen-year apprenticeship with a Yaqui Indian sorcerer from Northern Mexico, Don Juan Matis. Castaneda met Don Juan while researching hallucinogenic plants for his master’s thesis in anthropology while attending UCLA. Training Castaneda in the pre-Colombian techniques of sorcery, Don Juan mentored his pupil in the search for the creative self, the nagual. As with any good programmatic composition, themes are assigned to each character: Don Juan is dark and ominous; Carlos is open and direct; comic relief comes in the form of the character Don Genaro, a friend of Don Juan. The score is marked with the program elements that define each section: “The Desert,”

“Carlos Stares at the River and Becomes a Bubble,” “Gait of Power,” “Juan Clowns for Carlos,” and “Last Conversation and Farewell.” Within each section, Colgrass continues to define the story line with additional program notes: Quasi recitative; Don Juan emerges from the mountains; Carlos approaches Don Juan; etc. This piece is not for the faint of heart or ensembles that lack the requisite skills to perform complex meters, shifting meters, and highly rhythmic patterns. Colgrass exploits the full range of most of the instruments, which includes some extreme tessitura for prolonged durations. The tonal language is at times of predictable Mexican flavor and at other times highly exotic where Colgrass mixes tonal with atonal music effortlessly and with brilliant results. The orchestration calls for alto flutes, six soprano clarinet parts, contrabassoon, soprano saxophone, six trumpet parts with two parts requiring cornet doublings, flugelhorns, six trombone parts, two string bass players, celesta, piano, and harp. In addition to these essential instruments, the five percussion parts require extensive battery set up.

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G RA D E

Watchman, Tell Us of the Night

Mark Camphouse Neil A. Kjos Duration: 14:45 Reviewer: Dr. John A. Darling A hymn dedicated to all children of child abuse, Watchman, Tell Us of the Night is intended to portray the isolation, loss of innocence, and the ultimate enduring hope of the survivors of this tragic event. It is a very powerful work, both emotionally and stylistically; it is Mark Camphouse at his best. Watchman, Tell Us of the Night was commissioned by the St. Louis Youth Wind Ensemble, Milton Allen, director, and received its premiere in 1995. As with most of the works by Camphouse, there is no intended form or program to this piece, but there are three distinct sections. Each section has its own ebb and flow, requiring multiple mood and stylistic changes. The opening section represents child-like innocence with a clear and simple melodic idea presented by a solo trumpet. Innocence shattered is forcefully presented in the second half of the first section. The middle section is a setting of the easily recognizable Thanksgiving hymn, “Come Ye Thankful People Come.” It is the terminology associated with Watchman, however, that is particularly striking and poignant to the subject matter. It may prove useful to look up the words to both hymns in

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order to fully grasp the deeper meaning behind Camphouse’s choice for the title of this piece. The third section of the piece, almost a codetta, imbues a sense of hope and survival with the return of the opening theme and fragments of the hymn tunes intertwined. The orchestration required is best served through a traditional symphonic wind ensemble with the addition of an acoustic grand piano. The piano has several important lines and the piece cannot be done without it. The percussion parts are the typical Camphouse battery-style division of groups and require a minimum of five skilled players. Long, flowing lines in the manner of an orchestral string section is one of the hallmarks of this composition. Several moments will require sustained and powerful lines from the winds. A true wind ensemble, one to a part, will find these moments very difficult sustain.

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The style of the piece is a unique blend of serial techniques and Neoclassical structure and style. Although strongly influenced by Stravinsky, Dahl’s musical language never settles completely into one distinct category for this piece. The texture is very transparent with many passages indicated for one player only. Mature performers and advanced technique will be required to pull off a credible rendition of this masterpiece. Mastering the complexity of the motivic relationships and understanding the connection of the theoretical structures used to unify the work will require considerable score study and rehearsal preparation. The result will be one of the most significant experiences for the conductor, the performers, and the audience.

G RA D E

Sinfonietta

Ingolf Dahl Tetra/Continuo Music Group Duration: c. 18:00 Reviewer: Dr. John A. Darling Born in Hamburg, Germany, on June 9, 1912, Dahl’s formal education began at the Köln Hochschule für Musik. Fleeing the Nazi regime, he continued his studies at the Zürich Conservatory in Switzerland. He moved to Los Angeles in 1939 and was appointed to the faculty of the University of Southern California in 1945 where he remained until his death in 1970. Consistently rated as one of the most significant pieces written for band, Ingolf Dahl’s Sinfonietta has a unique and interesting history. The result of a commission from the Western and Northwestern Regions of the CBDNA in 1960, the origin of the Sinfonietta comes from an equally important wind orchestra work by Dahl, the Concert for Alto Saxophone. Arguably one of the greatest works in the saxophone repertoire, the Concert for Alto Saxophone was written for the internationally renowned virtuoso Sigurd Rascher in 1949. Both Igor Stravinsky and Henry Cowell were very impressed with the work, suggesting that it was the most significant composition for band to date. Dahl revised the concerto twice, in 1953 and 1955, removing approximately ten minutes of material that eventually found its way into the Sinfonietta. The Sinfonietta takes approximately 18 minutes to perform and is presented in three movements, “Introduction and Rondo,” “Pastoral Nocturne,” and “Dance Variations.”

MBM TIMES ISSUE NO. 5

MBM

TIMES

AMEN!

Frank Ticheli’s New Gospel for Young Band score analysis by Marcellus B. Brown

Cultural Reflections:

How Band Music Grew Over Time by Dr. Lawrence Stoffel

Presenting the Seven Winners of the Second International Frank Ticheli Composition Contest Introducing Dr. Jeffrey D. Gershman’s new column, ABOVE THE REST Also in this issue: score analyses by Dr. John Darling, Dr. Keith Kinder, and Gregory B. Rudgers

M AN HAT TAN BE AC H MU S IC IS PROUD TO PRESENT

F R A N K T I C H E L I’S L I S T P A R T 3 Cover photo of Michael Mar kow ski by D im it r i @ t he24s t u d io

ISSUE #5

A Manhattan Beach Media Publication

Frank Ticheli’s most anticipated Composition of the Decade

An�e�s in the

ARCHITECTURE

score analysis by Richard L. Blatti Three score analyses by Dr. Alan Lourens:

MICH A EL MA RKOW SKI

Instinctive Travels JODIE BL ACKSHAW

SOULSTRÖM

GREGORY B. RUDGERS

METRO

Cover photo of Michael Markowski by Dimitri @ the24studio

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MBM Times Issue #6  

MBM Times Issue #6 - A Manhattan Beach Media Publication - articles about concert band music