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PASSIONS: ICONS OF AN ERA – Concert Program
April 17, 2011 at 2:30 P.M.
Dr. Brian Bowman, Euphonium^
PASSIONS: ICONS OF AN ERA – Webcast Videos
PASSIONS: ICONS OF AN ERA – Program Notes
Traveler was commissioned by the Band Alumni Association, Delta Sigma chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, and Gamma Nu chapter of Tau Beta Sigma in honor of the retirement of University of Texas at Arlington Director of Bands, Ray C. Lichtenwalter. The composer states:
“The idea for Traveler came from the feeling of a big life movement as I contemplated my friend’s retirement. Traveler begins with an assertive statement of the chorale melody “Nicht so traurig, nicht so sehr” (Not so sad, not so much). The chorale was not chosen for its title, although in retrospect it seems quite appropriate. The last part of a life need not be sad. It is the accumulation of all that has gone before, and a powerful projection into the future—the potential for a tremendous gift of life and joy. And so the music begins with energy and movement, depicting an engaged life in full stride. At the halfway point, a meditative quiet settles in. Life’s battles are largely done; the soul is preparing for its next big step. In our hearts, our minds, our souls we travel from life to life to life in time and eternity.”
Eviler Elves (2008)
Eviler Elves is a concert band adaptation of a trombone choir piece Evil Elves written in April 2008 for the Oklahoma State University Trombone Ensemble and its director, Paul Compton. The piece was written for and premiered at the ensembles feature concert performance at the 2008 International Trombone Festival. Joseph Missal, Director of Bands at OSU, after hearing the piece, contacted the composer about expanding it and adapting it for concert band. Kazik writes:
“Sometimes when I write new music, I use buzzwords or other esoteric elements to come up with ideas for colors. In the case of Eviler Elves, the words conjured images of snarky sounds through the use of mutes and other 20th century techniques, and octatonic tonalities. It is a set of sounds that fairly easily translated to the large concert band with its own vast array of coloristic possibilities.”
Fanatasia di Concerto “Sounds of the Riviera” (1906)
Fantasia di Concerto has been performed by euphonium, cornet, and clarinet soloists for almost the entire twentieth century. It was originally dedicated to John J. Perfetto, the euphonium soloist from the Sousa Band in 1904, which was also the same year that Boccalari arrived in the United States. The solo alternates between a fantastic display of technical facility and the expressive theme anticipated from the subtitle “Sounds of the Riviera.”
Second Suite in F (1911)
Second Suite in F, Op. 28 No. 2, like the First Suite in Eb of 1909, had more than a decade between its writing and its premiere. Second Suite did not receive a public performance until June 30, 1922, when the band of the Royal Military School of Music played it at Royal Albert Hall in London. The program note for the performance stated that the piece had been “put aside and forgotten” after 1911. Second Suite is based entirely on material from folk songs and Morris dances. The opening march utilizes three tunes: a lively Morris dance, the lyrical melody of “Swansea Town,” and the lilting style of “Claudy Banks.” The second movement is a slow, tender setting of an English love song, “I’ll Love My Love,” a story of two lovers separated by their parents and the deep love they will always have for each other. “Song of the Blacksmith,” the third movement, demonstrates Holst’s inventive scoring with a lively rhythm imitating the sound of a blacksmith’s anvil. The final movement, “Fantasia on the ‘Dargason’,” is based on an English country-dance and folk song dating from the Sixteenth Century.
Nebula was commissioned by the University of Las Vegas Wind Orchestra and premiered by the ensemble on February 23, 2006, with Thomas Leslie conducting. About the work the composer writes:
“In astronomy, “Nebula” is a cloud of gas or dust in outer space, visible in the night sky as an indistinct bright patch or a dark silhouette against other luminous matter. This stellar formation inspired me to convey what I call “inner nebula”, a sense of darkness and void within our hearts that is shrouded from view other than to ourselves. This solitary anguish that dampens our soul is oblivious to those around us for they only see our seemingly bright and uncomplicated surface. We keep our secrets and desires hidden but yearn for deliverance from this torment. As nebula in space is only visible by contrast to its radiant surroundings, we long to be “seen” by others in such a sense.”
Carnival of Venice (1912)
The Carnival of Venice is perhaps the most popular piece for brass soloist of all times. Of the several arrangements of this Italian melody, the Clarke version remains the most often performed.
Armenian Dances, Part One (2006)
Armenian Dances, Part One is an extended symphonic rhapsody built upon five authentic Armenian folk songs from the extensive collection of musicologist Gomidas Vartabed. Considered the founder of Armenian classical music, Vartabed is credited with collecting and preserving well over four thousand Armenian folk songs. The opening song, “The Apricot Tree,” consists of three organically connected songs. Its declamatory beginning, rhythmic vitality, and ornamentation make it a highly expressive and sentimental song. “Partridge’s Song” was written by Vartabed and originally arranged for solo voice and children’s choir. It has a simple, delicate melody, depicting the tiny steps of the partridge. “Hoy, My Nazan,” is a lyric love song in which a young man sings the praises of his beloved Nazan. “Alagyaz,” named after a mountain in Armenia, is a well-known Armenian folk song, sounding as majestic as the mountain it portrays. The final song used in the piece is “Go, Go.” It is a humorous, light-textured tune with a repeated note pattern that depicts the expression of laughter. Armenian Dances, Part One was first performed by the University of Illinois Symphonic Band on January 10, 1973, and is dedicated to the director of the ensemble, Dr. Harry Begian.