This 12th installment is submitted by Italian conductor and WASBE Board Member Andrea Loss.
Grade 1 - 2
Deep Space Voyage (2021) – 2'30"
J. Aaron Stanley
“What strikes me most about deep space is its unending vastness. To ponder space is to ponder the infinite. It's both awe-inspiring and unsettling. It also strikes me as incredibly lonely. Imagine floating in the vast quiet emptiness of black space with only distant pinpricks of light to keep you company.
Deep Space Voyage is my first original composition for young band. The challenge of composing with such tight restrictions has given me greater respect for composers who are able to write something fresh, interesting, and fun for young musicians. I've tried my best to capture both the quiet loneliness of space, as well as its epic grandness of scale in a way that is appropriate for young musicians.
Although I had my own imagery in mind to serve as inspiration for composing, it isn't programmatic. Students can have fun creating their own imagery and storylines as their own personal reaction to the music. The piece has a very cinematic feel to it, which I believe will help keep students interested in the piece and in mastering the techniques required to perform it successfully.”
Program notes by composer.
Deep Space Voyage was the winner of the 3rd WASBE International Composition Contest, in 2022.
Alpe Adria (1978) – 5'10"
Matteo Firmi (Italy)
Alpe Adria was a public institution founded in Venice in 1978 to promote cooperation between the states of the Eastern Alps and Northern Adriatic Sea.
The initiative intended to stimulate collaborations between Northern Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary in science, culture, and politics. Even though the institution has been formally discontinued and that the region is now fully integrated in the Schengen area, the original spirit of cooperation still exists.
This overture was created to mark the 35th anniversary of the institution founding and is a musical tribute to the region and its community.
The beginning of the overture is inspired by the view of Miramare Castle on the sea (Trieste, Italy), the main theme of Carinthia, rich in mountains and lakes, and the adagio from the green forests of Slovenia.
The lively Allegro finale with the revival of all themes characterizes the desire for further intensification of relations between these three countries.
Le Tigri Di Mompracem (1900) – 6'
Luciano Feliciani (Italy, 1973)
Anyone who has read the pages that narrate the audacious events of Sandokan, a mythical character born from the powerful pen of the Veronese Emilio Salgàri (1862-1911), cannot fail to have dreamed, imagined and lived in his mind these amazing adventures set in wild and distant lands , made visible by the splendid descriptions of Salgàri who, like in a film, imagines adventures permeated with action and charm in exotic and remote territories.
The imagination of the Veronese writer, one of the most translated in the world, has inspired films and music of great impact, even providing writing ideas to young authors of adventure stories. Luciano Feliciani represented in music the emotions of his youthful readings of Salgàri's stories, creating a descriptive, bold and engaging composition that outlines the plot of the novel "Le Tigri di Mompracem", the first in which the figure of Sandokan appears.
The main theme in 5/4, enthralling and compelling, represents the figure of this hero, and develops on a rhythmic accompaniment of percussion, to then transform into an impetuous and explosive Allegro inspired by the exploits of the Malayan Tiger which, together with its crew, fights bravely against the English invaders.
Avalon (2017) – 7'
Federico Agnello (Italy, 1991)
''Avalon: Legend and Mysteries'' is the imaginary description of this legendary island shrouded in mystery, through a clear and flowing musical language. According to some legends, Avalon is the place where the Holy Grail was kept; according to others it is also the place where King Arthur was buried, transported to the island on a boat guided by the Fata Morgana where a large oak trunk, found at the bottom of the sea, bears the inscription "Here lies buried the illustrious King Arthur in Isle of Avalon." Dozens of other Celtic legends and traditions are told and so, in the collective imagination, Avalon remains a magical island shrouded in legends and mysteries.
SHALOM! (2001) – 10'
Philip Sparke (England, 1951)
The long history of Jewish folk song has resulted in a rich and varied repertoire of songs, which deal with religion, history, festival, and celebration. The melodies featured in Shalom! reflect this panoply of subjects and range widely in mood, from lament to rejoicing.
I. V’ha’ir Shushan & Havdala
V’ha’ir Shushan describes the victory celebration of the citizens of the walled city of Shushan, based on a story in the Book of Esther, while Havdala is sung at a ceremony in Jewish homes and synagogues which concludes the Sabbath and other religious festivals.
II. Hanerot Halalu & Ba’olam Haba
Hanerot Halalu is sung to accompany the lighting of candles at Hanukkah and Ba’olam Haba is set to words which speak of the world to come, which can mean either the world after death or the world that is to follow the messianic millennium.
III. Mishenichnas Adar, Ani Purim & Yom Tov Lanu
The three songs used in this movement celebrate the festival of Purim, which commemorates a major victory over oppression and is recounted in the Megillah, the scroll of the story of Esther. Purim takes place on the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar, the twelfth month of the Jewish calendar.