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Begräbnisgesang by Johannes Brahms

This deeply serious work of Brahms shows a strong foretaste of the somber mood of the Four Serious Songs, which he wrote nearly forty years later, and seems almost to be a preliminary study for the second movement of the German Requiem. It is founded upon a bleak melody that Bach used in his Cantata Erhalt' uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort, (No. 126). The work was composed in Detmold apparently in 1858. The Begräbnisgesang was performed under the composer's direction in the spring of 1861, the same year as its publication and made a highly favorable impression, causing one newspaper critic of the time to comment that, "The composer had realized the solemn spirit of mourning and had produced an effect strikingly appropriate for funeral ceremony."

Biographer Florence May deplored the fact that the work was not better known and made the following observation about its style: "Like all Brahms' sacred compositions of the time it gives evidence of the strong impression he had derived from his exhaustive study of the mediaeval church composers; and the music, austere in its simplicity is characterized by uncompromising fidelity to the almost grimly severe spirit of the words."

The work is scored five-part chorus (SATBB) and wind ensemble consisting of pairs of oboes, clarinets, bassoons, and horns; plus three trombones, tuba, and timpani. Brahms appropriately omitted flutes and trumpets in keeping with the solemn spirit of the composition.

BEGRÄDNISEGESANG (BURIAL SONG)

NUN LASST UNS DEN LEIB BEGRABEN
.....German text by Michael Weisse c. 1531.

To his grave our comrade bear we,
Confident our faith declare we:
"on that last day will he arise,
Sinless to dwell beyond the skies."

Earth is he, from earth created,
Thither to return was fated,
And to rise, his shackles unbound,
When at last the trumpet shall sound.

There with god forever dwelling
Mid his grace, all grace excelling,
There will his soul be cleansed of sin,
Assurance jesus christ did win.

Toil and tears in peace will now end,
As dust with dust his ashes blend.
Like christ on earth he suffered pain,
And like him died, yet lives again.

Sleep well, our friend, until the day
When he will bear your soul away;
Transfigured, no longer mortal,
You will enter heavens portal.

Here on earth is woe and wailing,
But there is mercy unfailing,
And joy everlasting, supernal,
Peace and blessedness eternal.

Now we lay our friend to rest here,
Each must strive to do his best here,
Faithful his chosen course pursue,
Soon death will come and take us too.

Note by Robert J. Garofalo

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Brasiliana by João Guilherme Ripper

"Brasiliana" is the finale movement from Chamber Symphony for Winds by the Brazilian composer João Ripper. The Symphony was conceived as a metaphor of different musical sources originating in South America. "Brasiliana," for example, is based on the Latin American rhythm "frevo" which gives the piece a strong, dance-like character. "Frevo" is a type of dance that originated in Recife (a city in Pernambuco, a state in Northeastern Brazil) in the late nineteenth century. It is based on the syncopations and rhythms performed by military bands in order to allow the "capoeira" dancers (a type of fighting dance/game invented by the African slaves in Brazil) to display their agility in the opening of street presentations during Carnival. The march has a frenetic and contagious rhythm that brings in all the people around. It has a binary time signature and a moderately fast tempo. According to Brazilian musicologist Renato de Almeida, the "Frevo" has two sections and the motives are presented antiphonally by trumpets/trombones and clarinets/saxophones. The individual and improvised qualities of the choreography make it very peculiar: the dancers, holding umbrellas, rarely repeat a gesture or action, which always results in a very personal and surprising performance. The dancing crowd with the umbrellas in the narrow streets of Recife has the visual appearance of boiling water or "ferver" ("to boil," in Portuguese), which-because of poor spelling-has turned into "Frevo."

João Guilherme Ripper, a native of Brazil, graduated from the School of Music of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Additional studies in composition and conducting were completed in Italy and Argentina. In 1997 he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music of The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Currently, Dr. Ripper is Professor of Theory and Composition and Director of Graduate Music Programs at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Dr. Ripper's works are frequently performed in major concert halls in Brazil and abroad. He has composed music in different genres, including orchestra, chorus, wind ensemble, ballet, keyboard, and chamber. Recently he was commissioned to write a cantata titled "Peabiru" for the 500th anniversary celebration of Brazil.

The first performance of "Brasiliana" took place on April 9, 1997, with Robert Garofalo conducting The Catholic University of America Chamber Winds. The complete Chamber Symphony for Winds was premiered on November 19, 1997, with Willis Rapp conducting the CUA Chamber Winds.

Note by Robert J. Garofalo

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Concerto for Wind Orchestra, op. 41 by Nikolai Lopatnikoff

Born in what is now Tallin, Estonia, Lopatnikoff studied piano and theory at the St Petersburg Conservatory until 1917. Like so many Russians of this period, he fled the civil unrest of St. Petersburg and the ravages of a county fighting untenable wars for more peaceful locales. After studying theory at the Helsinki Conservatory between 1918 and 1920, he took up civil engineering at the Technische Hochschule, Karlsruhe. While pursing his technical education, Lopatnikoff also studied composition with Ernst Toch. Among his early works are the Piano Concerto no. 1, op. 5, the Second Concerto, op. 15 and the Symphony no. 1, op. 12. This last work was performed by major orchestras both in Europe and the United States, and was taken on tour by the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1932.

It was, however, Lopatnikoff's pair of pieces for mechanical piano in 1927 that in turn afforded him a lifetime of musical endeavor instead of engineering. Aaron Copland heard Two Pieces and brought them to Serge Koussevitzky's attention. The conductor commissioned an orchestration of one of the pieces, played the resulting Introduction and Scherzo, Op. 10 in 1928, and offered Lopatnikoff a publication contract. There began a stormy but fruitful relationship between the two men that continued to the end of Koussevitzky's life. The Koussevitzky Foundation subsequently commissioned and the Boston Symphony premiered several of Lopatnikoff's new works.

After residing in Berlin and London as a professional composer, soloist and recitalist, Lopatnikoff immigrated to the United States in 1939 and attained citizenship in 1944. In addition to composing, Lopatnikoff's teaching appointments included positions at Hartt College, Westchester Conservatory, and finally at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (later Carnegie Mellon University) as professor of composition. He retired from Carnegie Mellon in 1969 and moved to New York, where he resided until his death in 1976.

In 1963, Robert Boudreau commissioned Concerto for Wind Orchestra, op. 41 for the American Wind Symphony. Cast in four movements, this work is representative of Lopatnikoff's compositional style: neoclassic, with an intricate layering of rhythm that supports a loosely tonal, yet compelling melodic line. The influences of Stravinsky, Toch and Hindemith are readily apparent in the construction of Opus 41. In the first movement, parallel perfect fourths and grandiose sweeping gestures evoke a Hindemith sensibility reminiscent of his Konzertmusik, op. 41 of 1926. In the fourth movement, the juxtaposition of sonorities and rhythms in the alternating sections of this march this creates a sense of good-natured jocularity. Throughout the piece, the influences of Stravinsky are manifest: in the composer's fastidious articulation markings, in the disjunct melodic shape and in the use and layering of several harmonic modalities. Leaving the influences of contemporaries behind, the lyrical third movement shows Lopatnikoff at his most intimate and introspective, with soloists performing over sparse accompaniment. Trimble and Crister, in their Grove Encyclopedia entry on Lopatnikoff aptly state: "his slow movements show at once his capacity for linear working and the emotional Russian quality of his work."

Note by Brian K. Doyle

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dance(fragments) by Anthony Suter (1979-)

Anthony Suter, a native of rural Indiana, received his undergraduate degree in music composition from the University of Southern California in 2002, and is currently pursuing a master's degree at the University of Michigan. Suter has studied with noted American composers William Bolcom, Susan Botti, Stephen Hartke and Frank Ticheli. He has received honors and awards from the American Composers Forum, the University of Michigan, ASCAP, College Band Directors National Association, the National Band Association, the British and International Bass Forum, and the Youth Music Forum in Kiev. Recently he has served as an Associate Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida during an opera residency.

His first work for wind band, dance(fragments) , garnered an honorable mention in the 2003 ASCAP/CBDNA Frederick Fennell Competition. He will soon begin composing his second wind band work, a commission from Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, VA.

dance(fragments) is loosely based upon a be-bop "lick" purposefully reminiscent of Charlie "Bird" Parker's playing. Indeed, Suter considered entitling the piece "Charlie Parker looked like Buddha," after the first line of Jack Kerouac's tribute to the be-bop legend. However, concerns over copyright prompted the current title. Both movements of the work occur at fast tempi, and have complex rhythmic and harmonic textures - characteristics of Parker's playing.

This first movement "Quickly, always with energy" utilizes three basic constructs: the "fragment," presented by piccolos and flutes at the outset; the "rhythmic interjection," epitomized by the percussive slap-tongue technique of the saxophone section; and sustained "bell-tone" sections creating complex densities of sound. These constructs are then arranged to create larger sections that move towards complexity and density, which then subside before continuing the process of intensification-release over again. Suter also creates contrasting textures by using oboe, trumpet and clarinet duets as well as flute solos. The climactic moment of this movement occurs with the upper woodwinds playing the fragment in octaves against the brass, which plays a longer more sustained line in octaves as well. After the culmination of this section, the soloist and duets receive short reprises in the closing moments of the movement.

The second movement, "Spirited, yet relaxed," uses two fragments - both derived from the fragment in movement one. The initial fragment, an ascending chromatic scale in dotted rhythms is first presented in the 2nd bassoon part at the outset of the movement. The second fragment, a melody utilizing an ascending minor third to an eventual ascending major third, is first heard in the 1st trumpet part. In most cases, only a single player sounds this elusive melody, in contrast to the chromatic fragment, which receives parallel and contrary accompaniments, as well as chordal treatment. Other than the juxtaposition of these two fragments in various instrumental pairings, dynamic levels and tessitura, this movement has less of a formalized structure than the first. The climax of this movement, however, does parallel the climax of the first movement. The upper woodwinds play the chromatic fragment in descending octaves against the ascending chromatic fragment of the low brass. In the middle of this texture the horns vie for attention with the melodic fragment before the whole ensemble moves into the coda via a huge crescendo and metric modulation. The coda ensues at break-neck pace and references the "parent" fragment from movement one (in upper woodwinds) before the final crescendo and climax. The bassoons state the chromatic fragment (in contrary motion) a final time, fading into silence before a final, fortissimo descending minor third by all the wind players - the first "unanimous" gesture of the piece.

It is appropriate to cite Kerouac's ode as a summation of dance(fragments) kinetic affect:

Charlie burst his lungs to reach the speed
Of what the speedsters wanted
And what they wanted
Was his eternal Slowdown

Note by Brian K. Doyle

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Divertimento for Brass and Percussion by Karel Husa (1921-)

Karel Husa was born in Prague August 7, 1921. Although his mother, an amateur musician, fostered his appreciation of the arts as an avocation by insisting on violin, piano and painting lessons, the young Karel received formal schooling preparing him for a career in civil engineering. As a result of the Nazi occupation of Prague in 1939 and the student protests, which subsequently ensued, the Nazis closed all technical schools in Czechoslovakia, including the institute Husa prepared to attend. Conservatories of art and music, however, were not affected by this closure. Initially, Husa considered pursuing art, but finally settled on musical studies. After a period of private tutelage with composer Jaroslav Jezek, Husa gained acceptance into the Prague conservatory, studying composition and conducting from 1941-45. His student works, bearing the influences of Prokofiev and of fellow countrymen Josef Suk (a student of Antonin Dvorák), and Leos Jánacek, received considerable attention and public praise. From 1945 to 1947, Husa attended the Academy of Musical Arts in Prague. In the midst of his advanced studies, Husa received a fellowship through the French government to study in Paris with Arthur Honnegger (composition) and Jean Fournet (conducting) at the École Normal de Musique.

After graduation from the Academy, Husa returned to Paris to study composition with Nadia Boulanger and conducting with Andre Cluytens. He also worked with conductor Eugene Bigot at the Paris Conservatory, where he audited Darius Milhaud's composition seminar. In 1948, Husa wrote his First String Quartet, which won the Lili Boulanger Prize in 1950 and set him on the road to international acclaim. That same year, Czechoslovakia became a communist state and proponents of the Avant Garde were exiled and their art banned. Even as music critics hailed Husa as "one of the greatest hopes for Czech music," the communist government revoked his passport, leaving him an exile. He would not set foot upon his native soil until after the end of the Cold War.

In 1954, musicologist Donald Jay Grout invited Husa to accept a faculty post at Cornell University. Husa agreed, teaching conducting, composition and orchestration. He received tenure three years later and obtained his U.S. citizenship in 1959. Husa remained a member of the Cornell faculty until his retirement 1992. Husa also served on the faculty of Ithaca College from 1967 to 1986. Teaching, as opposed to living as a traveling conductor, afforded Husa more time to compose, leading to a period of exceptionally fertile compositional endeavor.

For his compositions penned in the United States, Husa received significant praise including the 1969 Pulitzer Prize for his String Quartet No. 3, the first Louis Sudler Prize in 1983 for Concerto for Wind Ensemble and the 1993 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra. Perhaps his best known work, Music for Prague 1968 has received over 7000 performances since its premiere in Washington D.C. at the Music Educators' National Convention.

Karel Husa composed Divertimento for Brass and Percussion early in his tenure at Cornell. The work received its premiere on February 17, 1960, by the Ithaca Brass Ensemble with Robert Prins conducting. The Divertimento is a re-orchestrated, four movement excerpt of his Eight Czech Duets (1955) for piano, four-hands. Husa dedicated the duets to his young daughters, wanting to share with them his interpretation of their Czech heritage. In the same vein, Husa - now as a college professor, was concerned about the dissemination of his native music in ways accessible to American students, which would resonate with American audiences.

Drawing upon song forms and modal melody, Husa deftly merges his Bohemian heritage with modernist harmonic language in the Divertimento. The robustly majestic "Overture" unfolds in AABA form. In the outer sections, Husa contrasts the strictly modal (F Aeolian) trumpet melody with its polychordal accompaniment. The B section of the work, acting as one large crescendo, commences with the horns, then trombones. Their melody is derived from the initial portion of the trumpet melody, but harmonized in 5ths, giving it an antique, meditative quality. Intensity is created by adding successive voices in rhythmic imitation.

Set in broad ABA form, the second movement, "Scherzo," extensively utilizes polychords and ostinatos to support the melody. The trombones receive primary melodic emphasis in the major-sounding Lydian mode (as opposed to the minor Aeolian of the first movement). In the central section of the movement, the Gb Mixolydian trumpet melody is harmonized in non-traditional fashion, supported by two contrasting ostinatos - in trombone and tuba. Upon the truncated return of the A section, trumpets, horns and trombones/tuba receive melodic treatment. "Song," originally titled "Der Abend" [The Evening], uses mutes to create its distant, veiled atmosphere. The simple AA form has at its core a melody (C Mixolydian), which is played first by the principal horn, then trumpet. The solos are separated by an interlude, which draws its rhythmic qualities from the ostinato played by the orchestra bells in the first measure.

"Slovak Dance," a loose set of variations containing an extended interlude, acts as one long accelerando, edging toward a near-frenzied conclusion. After a bravura introduction, the tuba introduces the jocular theme, with its irregular phrase lengths and unexpected accents. Two variations follow, gradually increasing texture and intensity (although the second variation augments the theme to half-speed). The interlude in 3/8 meter is the most texturally complex portion of the Divertimento, replete with ostinatos of differing lengths layered under a harmonized melody in trumpets. Upon return to the original meter (2/4), Husa literally launches into a new section developing the bass ostinato of the previous. The return of the bravura introduction (now much faster, however) heralds the last two variations. The first is expanded by the inclusion of 3/8 meter interjection, and the last is compressed with glissandi literally "gluing" the four statements of the theme together. The coda commences with a sudden shift to piano, followed by a long crescendo and accelerando the final C major chord of the piece.

Note by Brian K. Doyle

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Divertimento in Bb, K.186/K. 159b by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

For periods of time between 1764 and 1773, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) toured Europe extensively with his father, Leopold. The young Mozart displayed his prodigious talent as a keyboardist and composer at important musical centers on the continent and in Britain. Mozart's performances typically included his symphonies, concertos, and keyboard works, as well as improvised demonstrations of his virtuosity. In the early 1770s, Mozart and his father made three trips to the Italian peninsula. The first trip, which began in 1770, was exploratory in nature, as Leopold sought to secure future opportunities for himself and his son. During the fifteen-month journey they stopped at almost any town where a concert could be given or where an influential nobleman might wish to hear Mozart play.

The most significant connections were forged in Milan, where Mozart was commissioned to compose an opera, Mitradate, re di Ponto, for the December carnival season. Upon their return to Salzburg in March, 1771, the international press reported the tour as an extraordinary success. While in Milan, Wolfgang had received commissions for two more works: the serenata Ascanio in Alba, and another opera, Lucio Silla. Therefore, Leopold immediately began making plans for return trips to Italy. Father and son next departed Salzburg for Italy on August 13, 1771, and they remained there until December 5.

The final Italian journey began on October 24, 1772, enabling Mozart to be present at preparations for Lucio Silla, which premiered on December 26. Mozart remained in Milan with his father until March 1773, and the Divertimento in Bb, K. 186/159b was composed during this period. The Divertimento likely was commissioned by Grand Duke Leopold of Tuscany, who employed the unusually large contingent of wind instrumentalists required by this work.

K. 186/159b exhibits characteristic tendencies of this period's wind repertoire, but is also unusual in its instrumentation and scoring. At this time, wind music often served to provide entertainment, either as background music (Tafelmusik), or dance music in aristocratic households. The spirit of this suite of five dance-based movements certainly corresponds to this functional purpose. Most ensembles performing early Harmoniemusik were sextets consisting of pairs of horns and bassoons plus one pair of treble instruments, usually oboes. In 1780, Emperor Joseph II standardized the instrumentation into an octet consisting of pairs of oboes, clarinets, horns, and bassoons. For his divertimenti K. 186/159b and K. 166, both composed in March of 1773, Mozart had ten players at his disposal, including two English horns.

The Divertimento, K. 186/159b makes limited use of the expanded forces at Mozart's disposal. Often composed in only two or three independent parts, voices are frequently doubled at the octave or unison, or smaller groups are selected to play from the larger ensemble. The Divertimento is formally and harmonically straightforward, with balanced, repetitive phrase structures and a limited harmonic vocabulary. Each movement of the Divertimento is highly melodic, especially the closing Allegro, a rondo form based on a tune of unknown origin which was found in sketches for Mozart's ballet, Le gelosie del Serraglio, K.Anh.109/135a.

Note by Kevin Geraldi

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Divertissement pour Instruments á Vent, op. 36 by Emile Bernard (1843-1902)

The French term divertissement (divertimento in Italian) was frequently used in the 18th and 19th century to identify an instrumental composition written in a light vein and used primarily for entertainment. The title was often given to an enormous variety of music written for chamber ensembles consisting of three to eight or more players. Closely related types are the serenade, cassation, and nocturne. Over the years the divertimento has evolved into many different styles and forms. Emile Bernard's Divertissement, for example, is an outstanding three-movement wind symphony in a late Romantic style. Bernard, a French organist and composer, studied at the Paris Conservatory and later in his career was organist of the church of Notre-Dame des Champs in Paris from 1887 to 1895. Bernard was not a prolific composer. However, his serious and reflective disposition is shown in almost all of his works, including the Divertissement. Composed around 1894 for wind dectet and first performed by the Parisian Société des Instruments à Vent, the Divertissement was played at least three times by the Longy Club of Boston between 1900 and 1905. A critic for the Boston Transcript wrote of the Club's 1904 performance: "[The work is] so well written that the lack of strings does not make itself so clearly felt as usual." (Quoted in The Longy Club, by David Whitwell, WINDS, 1988, p. 43.)

Movements
1. Allegro
2. Allegretto molto
3. Larghetto

Note by Robert J. Garofalo

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Funeral Music for Queen Mary (1695) by Henry Purcell

This arrangement is based on original wind music composed for Queen Mary of England by the great seventeenth century composer and court musician, Henry Purcell (1659-1695). The occasion was an elaborate state funeral for the Queen (who died of smallpox at the young age of 33), which took place in Westminster Abbey, London, on March 5, 1695. Purcell's instrumental ensemble consisted of a full consort of brass instruments-flat trumpets and trombones-and muffled drums. He wrote a dignified March or Dirge which was played during the procession as the Queen's royal bier entered the Abbey. The Canzona was sounded inside the Abbey after the singing of the Anthem. It is interesting to note that this profoundly moving and inspired music was performed at the composer's funeral ceremony which also took place in Westminster Abbey eight months after the passing away of his Queen.

Note by Robert J. Garofalo

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Overture for Band by Felix Mendelssohn

This overture, originally titled Nocturno, was first composed in 1824 for the resident wind ensemble at Bad Doberan, a fashionable seaside resort near Rostock in northern Germany. Mendelssohn, age 15, was vacationing there with his father when he heard the group perform. In a letter home to his sister Fanny, young Felix listed the instrumentation as 1 flute, 2 oboes, 2 C clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 C horns, 1 C trumpet, and English bass horn, which he described as a large brass instrument with a beautiful deep tone that looked like a big jug or syringe. He even included a drawing of the instrument. [The English Bass Horn or Corno di Basso is a conically bored upright instrument in the shape of a bassoon, sometimes called a Russian bassoon. The instrument is fingered like a woodwind and played with a brass mouthpiece. In a relatively short period during the first half of the nineteenth century, the English bass horn was superseded by the ophicleide, a bass keyed bugle, which in turn was replaced by the valved tuba.]

The original 1824 score to Nocturno was lost but recopied (apparently from memory) by the composer in 1826. The recopied score was also lost until the early 1980s when it was discovered, after a time lapse of more than 150 years, in a West-Berlin library.

In 1838 Mendelssohn completed a new version of the work for 23 winds plus percussion (Janitscharen) and retitled it Ouvertüre für Harmoniemusik (Overture for Band). This version, which was published posthumously by Simrock in 1852, calls for piccolo, flute, 2 oboes, 2 F clarinets, 2 C clarinets, 2 basset horns (tenor clarinets pitched in F), 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, English bass horn, 4 horns (2 in C and 2 in F), 2 C trumpets, 3 trombones, and percussion (snare drum, triangle, crash cymbals, and bass drum). Mendelssohn's re-orchestration of the work in 1838 reflects the rapid changes occurring in the instrumentation and size of wind bands in Germany during the second quarter of the nineteenth century.

Note by Robert J. Garofalo

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Serenade in C Minor, K.388 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Although the period of Harmoniemusik activity spans from 1760-1837, this musical tradition enjoyed its most considerable popularity in Vienna and Prague from 1780-1800. The roots of Viennese Harmoniemusik stem from the French practice of excerpting the best-loved parts of an opera or ballet (or several disparate works), re-arranging them for the available instrumental forces, and performing them as musical entertainments in the French courts. Prior to 1782, these ensembles consisted primarily of three pairs of instruments (usually oboes, bassoons and horns). In 1782 Emperor Joseph II, who delighted in the timbres of wind instruments, established the Kaiserlich-Königliche Harmonie, setting the standard instrumentation: pairs of oboes, clarinets, bassoons and horns. This Viennese configuration was quickly emulated by Maximillian Franz, Elector of Bonn (and the Emperor's brother) and by several other noble families in the region.

Although opera and ballet transcriptions were the mainstays of Harmonie repertoire, many original works were composed as well. While the majority of these were loose collections of dance movements with titles such as "Serenade," "Cassation" or "Divertimento." Works with the title "Parthia" often followed a more symphonic, four-movement form. Josef Myslivecek, known as "the divine Bohemian," wrote several works for Harmonie, and was an early musical influence on Mozart. Joseph Haydn, in addition to his numerous divertimenti and cassations for smaller groups of winds, wrote his Parthia in F-Major around 1780 for the Harmonie of Prince Nikolaus Esterházy. Beethoven contributed a cheeky work emulating symphonic form for the Harmonie of Elector Maximillian Franz in 1892 (Octet, op. 103), and Rondino, WoO 25 a year later. Bohemian born Franz Krommer wrote more than thirteen original works while in Vienna in the early 1800s.

Mozart's three contributions to the original Harmonie repertoire, however, remain the archetypal realization of the ensemble's inherent musical possibilities. Although all were written within a rather short period (1781-1784) coinciding with the formation of the K.K. Harmonie, there is still much scholarly debate as to the exact dates (and therefore, order) of their composition. The Serenade in Bb ["Gran Partita"] K.361 (370a) is the largest of the three in instrumentation and scope, but is most like the occasional serenade: a sonata-allegro first movement followed by six stylized dance movements. In addition to the Harmonie instrumentation, this work calls for a pair of Bassett horns, an additional pair of French horns and a double bass. The Serenade in Eb, K.375, written in haste in mid-1782 has five movements, two of which are minuet-trio forms. It is in the Serenade in C-Minor K.388 (384a) most likely written in late 1782 or 1783, that one finds a stylistic gravity distinct from the remainder of Mozart's serenades or his eight wind divertimenti. The only serenade or divertimento set in a minor key, this work employs somber conflicts and dramatic juxtapositions of emotion found in his most serious and mature works while closely following the tight-knit, four-movement symphonic form.

Mozart left no indication of the compositional circumstances surrounding K.388. As musicologist Alfred Einstein noted, "we know nothing about the occasion, nothing about the person who commissioned it, nothing about whether this client desired so explosive a serenade or whether that is simply what poured from Mozart's soul." However, scholar Robert W. Gutman posits that the Serenade in C-Minor, in all likelihood too serious for Emperor Joseph's tastes, might have been intended for Prince Alois Joseph Liechtenstein, a musical connoisseur, who ruled his lands by proxy while living in Vienna.

Without preamble, Mozart launches into the opening movement with dramatic flair. The phrases of the first key area of this sonata form are closely argued, creating an almost neurotic shift in emotional quality which finds resolution only as the transition to the second key area commences. The second key area, in Eb major, contains a singular, more restive oboe theme, augmented by the horn. The fiery debate is re-established during the transition to the close, finding conclusive rest in the final cadence of the exposition. The brief development makes use of canon which traverses the keys of Bb and Eb major as well as G minor before returning to C minor tonic. In the recapitulation, the transition is elongated allowing for a C minor second theme, transforming the once restive oboe melody into something far more brooding in nature.

The second movement, a sonata form in 3/8, has a gracious and delicate affect. The Eb major theme in the clarinets contains suspensions reminiscent of the more gentle phrases in the first key area of the previous movement. The second theme, especially in its embellished repetition, is the most light-hearted melody of the work, with the possible exception of the last variation of the finale. In the transition to the close of the exposition, the murmuring clarinets herald the return to the nocturne-like atmosphere while the oboe continues the melody. The development unfolds as a series of "unsuccessful" attempts to return to the tonic theme, attaining Eb major only upon the fourth try.

The minuet, labeled "in canone" masterfully displays Mozart's contrapuntal skill. The oboes commence, with the bassoons following one measure later. The clarinets take up the chase in the second section of the minuet, initiating a false return after the emphatic conclusion of their melody. Further demonstrating his contrapuntal acumen, Mozart composes the trio in double canon wherein the second voice is an inversion of the first. Mozart employs only four voices in the trio - the oboes and bassoons.

The finale is a theme and variations form, which recaptures the brooding sensibility of the first movement, maintaining it through the first four variations. The intensity of variations one and four act as bookends for the more subdued oboe variation in triplets and off-beat variation for oboe II and bassoon. In the fifth variation, the horns literally signal a shift to Eb major, recapturing, for a moment, the lighter mood of the second movement. The sixth variation, returning to minor, showcases the bassoon in obbligato support of the melody in oboe I and II. The momentum eases off in the seventh variation, wherein the clarinet's skeletonized and rhythmically stretched melody allows for a series of "sighs" and harmonic intensification. The movement closes with an ebullient final variation in C major.

Note by Brian K. Doyle

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Serenade No. 2 in A Major by Johannes Brahms

Brahms wrote his second Serenade in A Major, Opus 16, during 1857-60. Almost more than the first work of this genre, it is a true divertimento consisting of five movements. Two horns are used instead of four, and trumpets, drum, and violins are omitted (this gives the composition a peculiar sonorous charm). The violas are the highest strings used; the bassoons and the lower register of the clarinets are especially favored; hence a deep, warm tone prevails. The whole mood of the work is soft, tender, and rather pensive. Brahms was particularly attached to this composition, and when he was arranging the piano-duet score he wrote to the composer Joachim Raff: "I was in a perfectly blissful mood. I have seldom written music with such delight." And as late as 1875 he undertook the task of carefully revising a new edition of the score first published in 1860.

The open-air character of the classical serenade is most obvious in the more dance-like passages, especially the Scherzo and Quasi Menuetto, Brahms here reflecting the serenade tradition by providing two such movements rather than one. In the Finale, the surprise addition of the piccolo give the final bars a military effect, almost suggesting a tribute to the formalities of t the little castle where, least for a time, Brahms had found some contentment.

Note by Robert J. Garofalo

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Siegfried Idyll by Richard Wagner (1813-1883)

Richard Wagner (1813-1883) was one of the most influential and controversial figures of the 19th century. His innovative compositional practices, colorful orchestrational style, provocative philosophical beliefs and intriguing personal life made him a figure of grand stature. Wagner integrated mythology and archetypal concepts with the height of musical Romanticism in his music-dramas. His works' plots were based upon universally recognizable subjects. Unifying the music and text of these works is an intricate system of leitmotivs: musical symbols associated with specific plot devices that support the action in either the foreground or background of the musical texture. The zenith of this compositional practice was reached in his masterpiece, Der Ring des Nibelungen, a work in which almost every nuance is enhanced by an individually crafted musical motive. Wagner's Siegfried Idyll was a private realization of the deeper meaning behind selected motives from the third opera of the Ring cycle, Siegfried.

The composition of the opera Siegfried occurred simultaneously with the climax of a lengthy love affair between Wagner and Cosima von Bülow, the wife of conductor Hans von Bülow, and the daughter of Franz Lizst. Hans von Bülow, one of Wagner's great supporters and close colleagues, frequently conducted Wagner's works. Their close personal relationship, ultimately led to the beginning of the intimate relationship between Wagner and Cosima. While on their honeymoon in 1857, the von Bülows visited Wagner at his home, where they performed sketches from Siegfried, which was then in its formative stages. In his autobiography, Mein Leben, Wagner recalls:

The [sketches for] two acts of Siegfriedwere mastered by Hans to such an extent that he was able to play them as though he was reading an actual piano score. As usual, I sang all the partsCosima listened with her head lowered and kept quiet. When spoken to, she began to cry.


Wagner's statement not only illustrates the collaborative nature of his friendship with von Bülow, but also his attention to Cosima and her feelings. Cosima and Wagner would grow closer together over the next several years. Their tumultuous love affair suffered through much public criticism, and Cosima felt great remorse at the way her marriage to von Bülow was coming to an end. In her diary, she wrote:

At breakfast, R. read me a letter which he had just received from Hans, who is living there [in Munich] all alone, in the midst of the most abominable intrigues. It made my heart bleed.


Cosima was Wagner's muse and companion, and he loved her intensely. He believed that she inspired and motivated his best work.

During the 1860s, the love triangle between Wagner, Cosima, and Hans became increasingly entangled. Cosima and Hans had two daughters, Daniela (1860) and Blandine (1863), and before her divorce from von Bülow she and Wagner had three children. Their two daughters, Isolde (1865) and Eva (1867), were raised as siblings to the two von Bülow children. In 1869, Cosima bore Wagner a son, who they named Siegfried. The von Bülows divorced in July, 1870, and Wagner and Cosima were married in August. The Siegfried Idyll was Wagner's Christmas and birthday gift to Cosima (who was born on December 25), and the piece was premiered at their home by a thirteen-member ensemble at daybreak on Christmas Day, 1870. The music woke Cosima that morning, and in attendance was a small group of close friends that included Friedrich Nietzsche and Hans Richter. In a diary entry addressed to her children, Cosima wrote her reactions to this gift.

I can tell you nothing about this day, my children, nothing about my feelings, nothing about my mood, nothing, nothing. I shall merely inform you, plainly and simply, of what took place. A sound awoke me which grew ever stronger; I knew I was no longer dreaming, there was music, and what music! When it had died away, R. came into my room with the five children and gave me the score of his 'Symphonic Birthday Greeting' - I was in tears, so was everybody in the house. R. had placed his orchestra on the staircase, and thus our Tribschen (the name for their home) is consecrated for all time.


The bulk of musical material for the Siegfried Idyll is derived from Siegfried, particularly from the final scene of Act III, when Siegfried penetrates the ring of fire which imprisons Brunnhilde and wakes her from a magically-induced sleep. The hero matures significantly in this experience as he feels fear and love for the first time. After initially resisting Siegfried, Brunnhilde eventually submits to his advances and falls in love. The music used in this scene was originally sketched for an unfinished string quartet dedicated to Cosima. Upon Siegfried Wagner's birth, the material intended for the quartet was inserted into the opera at the final stages of its composition. By utilizing the leitmotivs and themes from this operatic scene in the Siegfried Idyll, Wagner is drawing connections between the drama and the love shared by himself, his wife, and their son.

Siegfried Idyll is based upon four motivic ideas, with other material serving in supporting roles. The opening section of the work begins intimately, with motives scholar Deryck Cooke refers to as "Sleeping Brunnhilde" (the viola's descending scalar pattern) and "Immortal Beloved" (the ascending scalar triplet following a long note initially heard in the violin). In the following section Wagner utilizes a German folksong, "Schlaf' mein Kind, schlaf' ein" (Sleep my child, sleep), first heard in the oboe. Perhaps the infant Siegfried Wagner had this lullaby sung to him by his parents. Eventually, the "Immortal Beloved" leitmotiv is layered with this folk tune as the form progresses to its next destination, where music associated with the character of Siegfried is introduced. Cooke refers to this 'Ring' motive, an ascending arpeggio begun from a lower neighbor, as "Siegfried - the world's treasure." The idea persists and modulates to distant tonal centers while the "Immortal Beloved" motive returns and is passed throughout the ensemble. The chromaticism increases, building the tension and intensity to a release upon the arrival of a new Siegfried motive in the horn, "Love's Resolution." Wagner layers this melody with birdcalls by the flute and clarinet. In Act II of Siegfried, the hero is magically able to understand the woodbird's advice after tasting dragon's blood. The bird relates the story of Brunnhilde's imprisonment and leads Siegfried to her. The impetuous, insistent horn call illustrates Siegfried's innocence and persistence, while the bird serves as his guide.

Wagner layers and develops the preceding material in an outpouring of emotion that eventually dissolves back into the placid mood first heard at the opening of the work. The coda recalls the horn call motive and the forest bird before fading away with recollections of the "Immortal Beloved."

The Wagner family resisted the Siegfried Idyll's publication, due to its intensely personal significance. The destined love between Siegfried and Brunnhilde, the inclusion of the familiar lullaby, and the forest bird's role as the hero's guide all illustrate how intimately connected this work is to Wagner's love for his family.

Note by Kevin Geraldi

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Sinfonietta, op 188 by Joachim Raff

Joachim Raff (1822-1882), a mostly self-taught composer of Swiss-German parentage, enjoyed great fame along with Wagner and Brahms during his lifetime. From 1877 to the end of his life he was Director of the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt where he also taught composition. A skillful orchestrater whose works embraced nearly every musical form and genre of the mid-19th century, Raff was rebuked by some of his contemporaries for being too prolific.

Raff composed Sinfonietta at Wiesbaden in 1873. There is no dedication in the score and it is not known why or for whom the work was written. Interestingly, its creation predates by at least five years the revival of wind chamber music by Paul Taffanel and Le Société de Musique de Chambre pour Instruments à Vent in Paris beginning in 1879

The Sinfonietta is an extended symphony for wind dectet-pairs of flutes, oboes, clarinets, horns, and bassoons. Movement one, in greatly modified and expanded binary form, features a lovely, asymmetrically-phrased chorale melody (3+5) that is developed with excellent counterpoint and orchestration. The scherzo-like second movement is a rollicking Tarantella in compound time and quasi rondo form. The lyrical third movement, in rounded binary form (ABABA Coda), has a repeated section dramatically cast in the parallel minor mode. Movement four is an instrumental whirlwind in modified sonata form requiring virtuosic playing throughout.

Movements
1. Allegro
2. Allegretto molto
3. Larghetto
4. Vivace

Note by Robert J. Garofalo

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Sonata pian' e forte by Giovanni Gabrieli (ca.1553-1612)

Giovanni Gabrieli was born into the thriving Venetian musical community at a time of musical synthesis and progress, and he was to be a catalyst for further musical innovation. Little is known of Gabrieli's earliest years, except that he likely was raised primarily by his uncle, Andrea. Andrea, who was employed as an organist and composer at St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice, was undoubtedly a strong musical influence upon his nephew. Like his uncle, Giovanni traveled to the court of Duke Albrech V in Munich, where he studied with and worked as an apprentice to Orlando de Lassus. De Lassus composed in a style, which was extremely cosmopolitan for his time, and his vast output (over 2000 known works) exemplifies a high degree of sensitivity to the intertwining of text painting, counterpoint, and harmonic effect. Gabrieli would come to incorporate many of these same elements into his compositions.

Gabrieli returned to Venice by early 1584, whereupon he assumed temporary employment as an organist at St. Mark's. On January 1, 1585, a competition was held to select a permanent employee, and the younger Gabrieli was chosen to join his uncle in full-time service to the church. Later that same year, Gabrieli was elected as organist to the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, a Venetian confraternity. His duties for both St. Mark's and the Scuola Grande primarily consisted of performance responsibilities for regular Masses and feast days, as well as for other Venetian celebratory events. Gabrieli officially began composing music for these occasions soon after his uncle's death in 1585.

The city-state of Venice enjoyed tremendous prosperity and independence from significant external political and ecclesiastical pressures. Venice's role as a center of trade between east and west created an unusually extravagant and cosmopolitan atmosphere. The center of Venetian culture at this time was the cathedral of St. Mark's, where the clergy were more directly responsible to the doge who reigned over the city than to the authorities in Rome. St. Mark's featured a grand musical tradition, dating at least back to Adrian Willaert (ca.1490-1562), one of the pioneering choirmasters of the cathedral. From the earliest years of the 16th century, Venetian composers had written for multiple choruses, or cori spezzati, to create complex contrapuntal and antiphonal textures. Giovanni Gabrieli would bring this practice to maturity, composing works for up to five choruses.

Many liturgical motets were performed in St. Mark's with instruments accompanying the multiple choirs. At first, unspecified instruments could be used to simply double vocal lines and strengthen the textures. Venetian congregations were accustomed to hearing mixed ensembles of voices and instruments as a local performance practice. Sackbuts, precursors to the modern trombone, and cornetts, trumpet-like instruments made out of wood that are now extinct, were likely choices for these duties. Eventually, instruments began performing these polychoral vocal compositions without the voices, and by the end of the 16th century original works were being written for use within the liturgical service. In 1597 Giovanni Gabrieli published his first collection of works, known as the Sacrae symphoniae. This volume consisted of forty-five vocal works and sixteen pieces for instrumental ensemble. The Sonata pian' e forte was first published as part of this set.

In the late 1500s, the term "sonata" referred generically to pieces for instrumental ensembles or solos intended for use in a sacred setting (as opposed to their secular counterpart, the canzona). Gabrieli's Sonata pian' e forte is a very early example of a composer including specific dynamic markings for the performers. Gabrieli notes "pian" when one choir plays alone, and "forte" when both play simultaneously. This work is also one of the earliest compositions to call for a specific instrumentation: originally one choir consisting of one cornett and three sackbuts, and a second choir consisting of one viola and three sackbuts.

Most 16th century sonatas were sectional in form, and the Sonata pian' e forte is consistent with this tradition. The work is divided into five short sections, each of which utilizes the antiphonal forces separately before using them together. As the work progresses, the interplay between the choirs evolves from generally homophonic textures with slowly changing modal harmonies, to be increasingly contrapuntal with more rapid harmonic motion. In the first section, each choir is introduced through long independent statements followed by a culminating phrase for the full ensemble. By the third section the choirs are interacting in vigorous dialogue, exchanging and developing melodic and harmonic fragments at one-measure intervals. The final phrase of the work features all eight voices in an independent contrapuntal texture. Most sacred vocal music of this period was polyphonic, and in this work Gabrieli progresses from the simple to the complex in terms of texture and instrumental usage.

In 1598 Gabrieli's Sacrae symphoniae were reprinted in the Germanic lands north of the Alps. As his music became widely known, many northern aristocrats sent their young musicians to study with Gabrieli in Venice. Thus composers in their formative years were exposed to Gabrieli's style of polychoral writing in antiphonal textures, text setting, and the growing potential of instrumental composition. Through the publication of his music outside of Venice and the direct propagation of his musical and compositional philosophies, Gabrieli's musical language would spread across the European continent at the beginning of the 17th century.

Note by Kevin Geraldi

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Suite Française (d'après Claude Gervaise) by Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)

Francis Poulenc was born in Paris on January 7, 1899 and died in that same city on January 30, 1963. Poulenc belonged to Les Six, along with fellow composers Auric, Durey, Honegger, Milhaud and Tailleferre. However, this group was more a social collective than a compositional front with a specific, singular agenda. Les Six were influenced by Eric Satie, and Jean Cocteau, and to a lesser extent Emmanuel Chabrier. The group favored a simpler and direct compositional language inspired by everyday life, epitomized for them in the music of Satie and Chabrier - suitable alternatives to Stravinsky and Debussy in the emerging compositional trend eschewing the Germanic hegemony of sensual, overdramatic romanticism. Ironically, later in life Poulenc claimed Mozart, Schumann, Debussy, Schoenberg, and Stravinsky all as pivotal early influences.

In 1935, Edouard Bourdet commissioned both Auric and Poulenc to compose the incidental music for each act, respectively, of his play La Reine Margot - a work about Margeurite (Margot) de Valois (1553-1615), who married Henri de Navarre in 1572. Henri was named successor to the throne in 1588, and crowned Henri IV, King of France in 1593. Margot's marriage to Henri was arranged by her mother, Catherine di Medici in an attempt to reconcile the bloody civil wars of France between Roman Catholics and Huguenot Protestants that plagued the French state from 1562-1598. The intensely strained relationship between Margot and Henri unfolded with significant drama, intrigue and political maneuvering - culminating in "The Lovers' War" of 1580.

For his music to accompany Act II, Poulenc drew inspiration from Pierre Attaingnant's Livres de Danceries, published in seven volumes during the mid 1550s. Claude Gervaise, a contemporaneous French court composer and violinist, collected and edited several of these volumes. Music journalist Jeff Eldridge asserts that Nadia Boulanger, a close friend of Poulenc's suggested this source. While each movement (except perhaps the fourth) draws upon Gervaise's melodies, these renaissance dances serve as a point of compositional departure. Poulenc includes a great deal of new material that furthers the affect initiated by the re-harmonized and oft-truncated borrowings. Poulenc's additions are distinguishable by their harmonic density and occasionally austere-sounding sonorities.

In the 16th century, this music was performed at social dances by ensembles arranged in consorts - homogenous groupings from families of recorders, viols, cornetti and sackbuts, or crumhorns. Poulenc observes this notion of consort grouping throughout his arrangements. The addition of the harpsichord in the orchestration, while adding a pleasant "antique touch" to the overall affect of the work, is possibly more of an homage to French harpsichordist Wanda Landowska than any attempt to preserve a renaissance performance practice. Poulenc met Landowska in 1923 and was immediately overwhelmed by her musical presence: "Wanda Landowska is one of the only women who gives me the impression of genius in its pure state. Poulenc describes his musical debt to her:

My meeting with Wanda Landowska was indeed, a key event in my career. I feel for her equal amounts of artistic respect and human affection. I am proud of her friendship, and I will never be able to say how much I owe her. It was she who gave me the key to the harpsichord works of Bach. It was she who taught me all that I know about our French harpsichordists.


Poulenc's Concert champêtre (1928), a concerto for harpsichord, was dedicated to and premiered by Landowska. Suite Française was the last of three works in which Poulenc utilized this instrument.

Poulenc first published this incidental music as Suite Française in an arrangement for piano in 1935. The instrumental suite using Poulenc's original scoring - pairs of oboes, bassoons and trumpets along with three trombones, harpsichord and percussionist (snare, bass drum and cymbals) - received publication more than a decade later, in 1948.

Suite Française draws upon three basic renaissance dance forms: the bransle (in three versions), the pavane and the galliard. The "Bransle de Bourgogne" is a two-part mixed-bransle which utilizes uneven phrase lengths. However, Poulenc truncates the initial five-measure phrase to four measures and alters the second, eight-measure phrase by composing new music for its conclusion. The terse "Petit marche militaire" only utilizes the first gesture of Gervaise's bransle-simple (characterized by six-measure phrases) as the first section of a larger form. The remainder of the movement is original material. The final movement, "Carillon" is another Bransle simple. Poulenc again alters the phrase structure by truncating the first section into a five measure phrase, while leaving the second section its original length. "Carillon" also contains a great deal of new music by Poulenc. The third bransle variant is found in the "Bransle de Champagne." This movement is a bransle-double, based upon four measure phrasing.

The pavane is a slow, ceremonial dance. Poulenc leaves the first section of his version unaltered, and removes chromatic tones from the second section, giving it an antique sound. The middle section of the movement is original music, but is most strongly reminiscent of the "chorale" that concludes Stravinsky's Symphonies of Wind Instruments.

The "Complainte," is either so altered that finding its source is impossible, or it is wholly new. Regardless of its heritage, the melancholy oboe and harpsichord solos give this movement an air of mournful introspection. "Complainte" continues without interruption into the "Bransle de Champagne."

The final form Poulenc employs is the galliard, found in his "Sicilienne." This dance is grouped in six-beat units, and dancers in the renaissance would have jumped up on each fifth beat. Poulenc only uses two sections of the original three inserting original material in the middle and at the end.

Note by Brian K. Doyle

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Trumpet Concerto No. 2 by André Jolivet (1905-1974)

Music, in my opinion, must be spiritual - being a religious art - if it is to play a role of first importance in the life of human society.
- André Jolivet

With a father who enjoyed painting, and a mother active as a pianist, André Jolivet's early childhood was steeped in artistic endeavor. In 1917, the twelve year-old André attended his first production at the Comédie Française; he was so inspired he stated his determination to become a member. By his teen years, Jolivet had already set his own poetry to music ("Romance Barbare"), had written a ballet, and was playing cello, counting among his earliest musical influences Debussy, Ravel and Dukas. However, in December of 1927, Jolivet attended a concert of Pierrot Lunaire (1912) and was awestruck by Schoenberg's contextual atonality and intuitive compositional method. From 1928-33, Jolivet studied composition with Paul Le Flem - whose instruction of counterpoint, harmony and form drew upon models of 15th and 16th century polyphony.

In 1929, Jolivet encountered one of the most influential figures in his compositional career. Upon hearing Edgard Varèse's Ameriques (1922), Jolivet pressed his mentor Le Flem for an introduction. Through this introduction, lessons were arranged - lasting until 1933. Jolivet commented on his mentor, Varèse:

I must say, that it was Varèse, whose only [European] pupil I was, and for whom I have the deepest admiration, who set me on my way. He helped me to discover one of music's most significant aspects; music as a magical and ritual expression of human society. I have learnt to attach great importance to the balance between man and the cosmos.


The year 1935 witnessed the formation of "La Spiral," a group dedicated to the musical avant-garde. Its members included composers Jolivet, Oliver Messaien and Daniel-Lesur. In 1936, "La Spiral" added Yves Baudrier and re-named their party "Le Jeune France." Their manifesto proclaimed a dedication to "spiritual values and human qualities in a mechanized and impersonal world wish[ing] to create a living music in a spirit of sincerity, generosity and artistic consciousness." They felt music must "convey to those who love it, without compromise, its spiritual violence and its infinite reverberations." The group dissipated upon the advent of WW II.

From 1945-1959, Jolivet realized his childhood dream as director of the Comédie Française. This position afforded him the time and ability to travel to exotic destinations, which in turn re-kindled his interest in musical ritual and primitivistic mysticism. The titles of several Jolivet compositions reflect this attitude: Mana, Cosmogonies, Dances-rituelle, and Incantations.

Jolivet's Concerto No. 2, written in 1954, comes from his period of activity with the Comédie Française and was later used as incidental music to his 1961 ballet Marines. The inspiration for the work came from Jolivet's family. His wife, Hilda, remarked upon the genesis of Concerto No. 2:

My children and I are much attached to this work sentimentally, because we contributed to its inception. My eldest son [Pierre-Alain], who had passed a year studying in the United States had returned with an impressive collection of high quality jazz recordings and made us listen to them. Jolivet plunged himself time and again into this consuming ambiance, and if he did not say anything, he wrote it, draining the currents of this living, authentic music, he set free, with his French spirit, the coarseness, the abruptness, but at the same time, its sensitivity and deep melancholy. He measured the sonorities, which he unleashed with passion, until he mastered it.


She further stated that the concerto is "a profoundly dramatic work, which conveys a state of mind comparable to that which inspires the Negro spirituals." These influences are found in the works orchestrational timbres (saxophones, muted [several] trumpet and trombone, pizzicato string-bass, percussionists emulating a drum-set), compositional aspects (glissandi, flutter-tongue, syncopated rhythm) and structure (repeated melody as textural underpinning for quasi-improvisatory incantation).

Although Concerto No. 2 was written for Roger Delmotte (who recorded the work in 1955 with Jolivet conducting), the premiere of the concerto took place with Raymond Tournesac as soloist in Vichy under the direction of Louis de Froment on September 5, 1956.

Each of the opening movement's broad, formal sections commences with a brief "Mesto" [pensive, melancholy] introduction. The trumpet's brooding melodic phrases (using a Harmon mute for "wa-wa" effect) are connected by gestures in the string bass, all supported by a delicate percussion ostinato. In each of the faster sections, the alto saxophone introduces the primary theme before passing it on to other voices in the ensemble. With melody always present - primarily in the solo (muted) trumpet - Jolivet creates evocative sweeps of texture and timbre through shifting density of orchestration. Each fast section presses to a close with the ensemble becoming ever more agitated and excited. In the latter section, however, complexity is increased with the trumpet taking on an independent, quasi-improvisatory role. Also, the four-measure melody receives stretto treatment at the end of this section, accelerating gradually during its seven iterations with the trumpet performing solo passages - for the first time in the movement sans mute - weaving in and out of the rhythm of this texture. The acceleration culminates in a brief, frenzied coda concluding the movement.

The second movement, a simple two-part (abab) song, brings the sonorities of the piano and harp to the fore in support of the lyrical trumpet melody. The trumpet melody of the first section, in E Phrygian, is un-muted, while in the second section, in G# Phrygian, Jolivet calls for a Robinson mute to create a more contemplative and distant mood.

The final movement, marked "giocoso" [playfully, merrily], relentlessly pushes the solo trumpet to its virtuosic limits. After a one-measure introduction by the piano and string bass, the trumpet engages in an insistent melody in three stages, each occurring at a higher pitch level than the last. The trombone enters, imitating the trumpet, while flutes and harp take over the underlying texture from piano and bass. The trumpet counters the trombone melody, but the trombone plays on, now on the "wrong" beat. Upon regaining the melody, the trumpet is joined by the alto saxophone shadowing the melody a distant tri-tone away. Further repetitions of the melody attract more players (clarinet and flutes), at different pitch levels, adding density to volume, timbre and pitch content. This aggregate intensity is broken up by an extended, driving and primitivistic drum (set) solo.

The middle sections of the movement are more restive, with trumpet melodies connected by glisses in the harp and trombone parts. Just as the energy level approaches imperceptibility, Jolivet launches into an intensified and embellished variation of the initial theme. As before, each statement rises higher in the trumpet register, culminating in a high Db before relinquishing the melody to flutes and alto saxophone. A brief interlude, reminiscent of the mid-point of the movement, interrupts the re-intensification before the climactic return of the trumpet melody, highly embellished. Amidst a flurry of activity, the trumpet drives towards the concluding bars in its highest register, releasing into a veritable "jazz tag-ending."

Note by Brian K. Doyle

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William Byrd Suite by Gordon Jacob (1895-1984)

William Byrd (1543-1623) was the leading English composer of his generation, and together with continental composers Giovanni Palestrina and Orlando de Lassus, one of the great masters of the late Renaissance. Raised in the Royal Chapel, Byrd most likely studied with composer and chapel organist Thomas Tallis. Although raised in Protestant surroundings, Byrd remained a devout Roman Catholic and yet maintained favor with the throne throughout his life.

Keyboard music formed one of Byrd's main compositional endeavors, and the fruit of these labors provided the impulse for an entire school of Elizabethan keyboard composition. Most of these works were intended for performance at the virginal, a relative of the harpsichord in many timbral and mechanical aspects. Although Byrd's keyboard works first appear in the 1570s, they only circulate in manuscript until the publication of My Ladye Nevells Booke (1591) and Parthenia (1611). However, the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book languished in obscurity until 1899 before receiving publication. This collection comprises the largest set of Byrd's keyboard works - around seventy - and is also regarded as England's foremost collection of keyboard works. All of the movements Gordon Jacob set in William Byrd Suite have the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book as their source.

Gordon Jacob studied with Charles Villiers Stanford, Adrian Boult and Ralph Vaughan-Williams at the Royal College of Music. After teaching at Birbeck and Morley Colleges in London, Jacob joined the RCM staff in 1924 and remained until his retirement in 1966. His pupils included Malcolm Arnold, Imogen Holst and Joseph Horovitz. At the time of Jacob's death in 1984, he had written over 700 works. His numerous offerings for wind band, including Old Wine and New Bottles, Music for a Festival, Original Suite, Giles Farnaby Suite, The Battell and William Byrd Suite follow the precedent set by Gustav Holst and former teacher Ralph Vaughan Williams. These English composers' works formed the cornerstone of the wind band repertoire in the early part of the 20th century.

Jacob considered William Byrd Suite "freely transcribed," as virginal players had no means of creating dynamic shading or timbral contrast on their instrument. Composers created dynamic intensity by adding voices above and/or below the melody. Similarly, composers created musical intensity by adding lines of increasing complexity, ornamenting the melody. Jacob remained mostly faithful to Byrd's original melody, harmony, form and figuration, but added his own orchestrational color and dynamic shading to intensify the aforementioned expressive qualities of the music.

It is an overstatement to describe each movement simply as growing louder and more complex due to layers of ornamentation, variation and imitation. Although Byrd utilizes these compositional devices in all the works represented, his genius lies in how he utilizes these effects in varying degrees to avoid monotony. In "The Earl of Oxford's March," devices of crescendo, ornamentation and imitation are clearly evident. This movement, marked un poco pomposo, begins its stately procession through the two iterations of its form simply and very quietly, growing steadily stronger and more complex into the climactic final sections. Although originally attributed to Byrd, the slow, stately "Pavana" is now placed within Anthony Holborne's works list. Jacob alters the harmonic scheme of this movement, beginning each phrase in a different tonality, yet emphasizing Bb-major in them all. "Jhon come kisse me now," "The Mayden's Song" and "Wolsey's Wilde" are sets of variations upon an eight and two sixteen bar melodies, respectively. Imitation and ornamentation are the primary developmental tools in the first two, while the third follows a more conservative approach with far less figuration and only one variation. Jacob's orchestration of "Wolsey's Wilde" takes advantage of the instrumental forces, alternating loud and soft dynamics, and effectively utilizing the timbral possibilities of the winds. "The Bells" is structured in large musical paragraphs, a continuous motivic variation emanating from a single two-note ground in the bass. The work culminates with a tubular bell solo amidst a grandiose layering of contrapuntal texture.

Note by Brian K. Doyle

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