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Out of this World – Concert Program
May 13, 2012 at 2:30 P.M.
Charlie Valliant, 2012 LSWO Youth Winds Concerto Competition Winner*
OUT OF THIS WORLD – Program Notes
Flight was written to commemorate the second flight of the first private manned spacecraft to exceed an altitude of 62 miles (328,000 feet). On October 4, 2004, SpaceShipOne won the 10 million dollar Ansari X-Prize. This piece is written both in the style of “minimalism” and acts as a fanfare. Three main sections (launch to space, reaching the apogee, and return to the atmosphere) bring this historic flight to life..
Salvation is Created (1912)
Salvation is Created was one of the very last sacred works composed by Russian composer Pavel Tschesnokoff before the oppressive Soviet regime forced him to turn to secular arts. In 1917, the peasants of Russia started a revolution and overthrew the reign of the tsars. The new form of government that took over established communism. Among the many changes that resulted was the shutting down of the Russian Orthodox Church. The government held a great deal of control over the type of music composers could write, and music for the church was discouraged. Composers wrote sacred music at the risk of being killed or having their families taken. Tschesnokoff opted to save his family and himself and never wrote another piece of sacred music. Years after his death communism fell, the Berlin Wall came down and the Russian Orthodox Church opened its doors again. Salvation is Created became the unofficial anthem of the church. Tschesnokoff never heard the piece performed, but his children were finally able to hear it years later. This piece was originally written as vocal music. The English translation is: “Salvation is created, in the midst of the earth, O God, O our God. Alleluia.”
Apollo Unleashed from Symphony No. 2 (2003)
Frank Ticheli, a Richardson native, writes, “The finale, Apollo Unleashed, is perhaps the most wide-ranging movement of the symphony, and certainly the most difficult to convey in words. On the one hand, the image of Apollo, the powerful ancient god of the sun, inspired not only the movement’s title, but also its blazing energy. Bright sonorities, fast tempos, and galloping rhythms combine to give a sense of urgency that one often expects from a symphonic finale. On the other hand, its boisterous nature is also tempered and enriched by another, more sublime force, Bach’s Chorale BWV 433 (Wer Gott vertraut, hat wohl gebaut). This chorale -- a favorite of the dedicatee, and one he himself arranged for chorus and band -- serves as a kind of spiritual anchor, giving a soul to the gregarious foreground events. The chorale is in ternary form (ABA’). In the first half of the movement, the chorale’s A and B sections are stated nobly underneath faster paced music, while the final A section is saved for the climactic ending, sounding against a flurry of 16th-notes.”
Morceau de Concert (1880)
Translating to “concert piece,” Morceau de Concert is an impressive horn solo written in 1880. Camille Saint-Saëns’ composition was dedicated to the horn virtuoso Chaussier, who won the Premier Prix (a famous concerto competition held at the Paris Conservatoire) in 1880.
Mission STS: Ecceda Terra (2012)
Mission STS: Ecceda Terra was composed as a tribute to NASA’s Space Shuttle Program and its 30-year mission of discovery. Five minutes in duration, the piece travels through five stages of space flight – prelaunch, countdown, launch, space and re-entry.
The composer writes, “The title was derived two-fold, combining the scientific with the poetic. “Mission STS” marks the official name of the Space Shuttle program, Space Transportation System. And “Ecceda Terra” finds its roots in the Italian and Latin languages. Roughly translated “Ecceda Terra” means “To Exceed the Earth.” It is also important to note that “ecceda” also represents the first letters of the six Space Shuttles – Endeavour, Challenger, Columbia, Enterprise, Discovery and Atlantis. Mission STS: Ecceda Terra makes use of air sounds including the flutes using a technique called “the jet whistle,” a quote from Richard Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra, and the utilization of Morse code. can be heard starting in the low winds and brass, moving on to the trumpet and alto saxophones. During the first transition in this section, Morse code is introduced as a means to pay homage to the astronauts in the Space Shuttle disasters of Challenger during its launch and Columbia during re-entry. Presented by the flutes, oboe and xylophone, the Morse code motive spells out “Remember” on pitch C (for Challenger and Columbia).”
Actual launch sounds from the final Mission STS-135 Atlantis were provided with permission from NASA to be utilized before the piece begins and during the countdown and launch sections of the piece.
Jupiter from "The Planets" (1914)
Jupiter is a movement from one of Gustav Holst’s most popular and monumental works. He wrote The Planets between 1914 and 1916, beginning with Mars (but before the outbreak of war that August), continuing with Venus and Jupiter that fall, writing Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in 1915, and finishing with Mercury in 1916. The first performance of the complete suite took place under the direction of Albert Coates on November 15, 1920, in London. The first performance in the United States was given by Frederick Stock and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on December 31, 1920.
Holst provided this note, “These pieces were suggested by the astrological significance of the planets; there is no programme music, neither have they any connection with the deities of classical mythology bearing the same names. If any guide to the music is required the subtitle to each piece will be found sufficient, especially if it be used in the broad sense. For instance, Jupiter brings jollity in the ordinary sense, and also the more ceremonial type of rejoicing associated with religions or national festivities. Saturn brings not only physical decay, but also a vision of fulfillment. Mercury is the symbol of mind. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity is named for the light bringer, the rain god, the god of thunderbolts, of the grape and the tasting of the new wine, of oaths, treaties, and contracts, and from whom we take the word “jovial.””