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#13 Suggested Repertoire from Around the World for Developing Bands

This 13th installment is submitted WASBE’s President-Elect Miguel Etchegoncelay

 

I am proposing you a series of works of medium difficulty that I hope will allow you to open new sound perspectives in your upcoming programs. The ways of approaching sound and expression of each of them are different and unique. These pieces show a small part of the richness of possibilities that the wind ensemble has as a means of serious artistic expression. Enjoy!



Grade 3

Fu-Mon - 10’

Hiroshi HOSHINA (Japan)

Purchase at Bravo Music



Hiroshi HOSHINA

Fu-Mon (Wind Ripple) is richly harmonized in a lyrical style, evoking an oriental atmosphere especially in its slow sections, contrasting with the faster parts, which show the influences of western music with a rhythmic undercurrent.


Hiroshi Hoshina is regarded as one of the most distinguished composers in the field of wind instruments music in Japan. He is similarly respected for his unique method of teaching principles of performance. He has also published books on performance theory and conducting and gives lectures.



 


Grade 3

Diamond Tide (2017) – 7'

Viet CUONG (USA)

Purchase at  Viet Cuong Music



Viet CUONG

A programmatic work, divided in two parts, that allows the exploration of all the timbrical possibilities of the percussion, especially metallic, as well as the expressiveness of textures based on sustained notes and extended harmonies.

Viet Cuong already has a considerable body of works and is one of the most outstanding representatives of the new generation of young American composers.

 

“A 2010 article published in Nature Physics details an experiment in which scientists were able to successfully melt a diamond and, for the first time, measure the temperature and pressure necessary to do so. When diamonds are heated to very high temperatures, they don’t melt; they simply turn into graphite, which then melts (and the thought of liquid graphite isn’t nearly as appealing or beautiful as liquid diamond.) Therefore, the addition of extremely high pressure -- 40 million times the pressure we feel on earth at sea level -- is crucial to melt a diamond. The extreme temperature and pressure used in this experiment are found on Neptune and Uranus, and scientists therefore believe that seas of liquid diamond are possible on these two planets. Oceans of diamond may also account for these planets’ peculiar magnetic and geographic poles, which do not line up like they do here on earth. Lastly, as the scientists were melting the diamonds, they saw floating shards of solid diamond forming in the pools -- just like icebergs in our oceans. Imagine: distant planets with oceans of liquid diamond filled with bergs of sparkling solid diamonds drifting in the tide... These theories are obviously all conjecture, but this alluring imagery provided heaps of inspiration for Diamond Tide, which utilizes the “melting” sounds of metallic water percussion and trombone glissandi throughout.” Program notes by Viet Cuong

 


Grade 2.5

Suite Montmartre – 6’45”

Erik SATIE (France) / arr. Johan de Meij (Netherlands)

Purchase at Hal Leonard



Erik SATIE

Suite Montmartre, like its companions Suite Pigalle and Suite Montparnasse are ideal for introducing students to the extraordinary music of Erik Satie. The three suites are the continuation of the already famous Ratatouille Satirique, published by de Meij many years ago.


The band versions of this music originally written for piano are idiomatic and work very well. The orchestration is dense enough to allow less advanced ensembles to approach this different, unusual language. However, it will be necessary to work on lightness of execution as well as on an elegant style.


Johan de Meij
“Erik Satie, born in Honfleur in Normandy (France) in 1866 is undoubtedly one of the most striking personalities in the history of French music. He composed in various, often quite divergent, styles. Besides light-hearted, entertaining works he also wrote several serious compositions, among which the three ballets: Parade, Relâche and Les Aventures de Mercure. However, his piano pieces, such as Trois Gymnopédies or Gnossiennes will remain his most popular compositions. Satie cooperated with almost all the great artists of his time: Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Sergei Diaghilev, Georges Braque, and composers Darius Milhaud (Le Groupe des Six) and Claude Debussy. Johan de Meij made an orchestration of three short pieces by Erik Satie: I. Petit Prélude “La Mort de Mr. Mouche” - II. 1ère Gymnopédie - III. Rag-Time Parade » Program notes by Johan de Meij
 


Grade 3

Lichtweg - 6'

Jennifer JOLLEY (USA)

Purchase at Murphy Press



Jennifer JOLLEY

While the work is technically approachable, it presents some interesting challenges for the ensemble. Although based on an eighth-note ostinato, the constant agogic changes that occur within the measure as well as in the successive metrical changes require a fluid and controlled performance. The feeling of constant motion, to reproduce the lightway that this music evokes, is crucial.

Spending some time on the balance between the instrumental groups that illustrate the two basic colors of the light installation is also necessary. The scoring is subtle, it gives the impression of transparency, although obtaining a pure and brilliant sonority requires a mature ensemble.

 

“Lichtweg/Lightway is a wind ensemble pieced based on the Keith Sonnier’s light installation in Connecting Level 03 in Terminal 1 at the Munich Airport. Bright fluorescent neon lights line the walls of a typical airport walkway to both guide travelers to where they are going and to help them cope with the stress of being in transit. In this piece I musically portray the rhythmic placement of red and blue light emanating from this neon installation by creating a constant eighth-note ostinato that is heard throughout the piece. Just as the panes of glass, mirrors, and aluminum sheets refract and scatter the colorful neon light, this ostinato is diffused amongst the different colors in the ensemble.” Program notes by Jennifer Jolley

 


Grade 2

Celestia’s Horizon – 3'

Katahj COPLEY (USA)

Purchase at Katahj Copley Music


Katahj COPLEY

Celestia's Horizon is a very short piece, which offers a wonderful opportunity to work on a subtle sound production, to create an atmosphere and to free oneself from the vertical notion of meter. The music is programmatic which allows the teacher to rely on images and descriptive ideas that will give the student the opportunity to approach listening from another angle.

 

“I have had a fascination with the sunrise. I love the way the colors appear from nowhere to brighten the world and begin the day with wonder and curiosity. I wanted to create a piece that would see the night sky turning into a new day. With Celestia’s Horizon (celestia- a latin name for the heavenly sky), I was able to create that sound. Celestia’s Horizon illustrates the beginning of a sunrise. Using different pairings of the ensemble, the piece transforms from a dark and cold beginning to a warm, awe-inspiring climax. The piece ends with a sense of warmth and curiosity as the day finally begins.” Program notes by Katahj Copley

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