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Fanfares and Flourishes – Concert Program
October 7, 2012 at 2:30 P.M.
LSWO Brass Ensemble*
FANFARES AND FLOURISHES – Program Notes
Fanfare for the Common Man (1942)
Fanfare for the Common Man was written for Eugene Goosens and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, premiering on March 14, 1943. With the United States heavily involved in WWII, Goosens sought American composers to submit patriotic fanfares which would be performed during the 1942-1943 concert season. Copland’s fanfare was one of ten commissioned for the collection, which also included works by Henry Cowell, Paul Creston, Virgil Thompson, Howard Hanson, and Walter Piston. Given the task of bolstering patriotic sentiment, Copland sought to capture a “certain nobility of tone, which suggested slow rather than fast music.” The title of the work took its inspiration from Copland’s reaction to Walter Piston’s Fanfare for the Fighting French. Copland commented: “It seemed to me that if the fighting French got a fanfare, so should the common man, since, after all, it is he who was doing the dirty work in the war.” Feeling the material could be further developed, he used the fanfare material in the finale of his Third Symphony.
Flourishes and Meditations on a Renaissance Theme (2010)
Flourishes and Meditations on a Renaissance Theme was commissioned by the President’s Own United States Marine Band and is dedicated to them and their director, Colonel Michael J. Colburn. The work is a set of seven variations on an anonymous Renaissance melody that is simply titled Spagnoletta; derived from a then popular melody titled Españoleta or “Little Spanish Tune.” Gandolfi first encountered this melody quoted by Joachin Rodrigo in his Fantasia para un Gentilhombre for guitar and orchestra. He was motivated to probe this elegant tune which he had been acquainted with for four decades.
Variations for Wind Band (1957)
Variations for Wind Band were originally composed for the brass band, brought about by an encounter with the International Staff Band of the Salvation Army. This short, rarely heard piece is a set of eleven variations on an original theme and was written for the British National Brass Band Championships. Vaughan Williams’s theme, fourteen bars long, begins with a modal hymn-like phrase for unison saxhorns in two octaves. Brighter sounds, marked no vibrato, respond, again in unison. The theme is then completed with a harmonized phrase which could have come from no other pen, similar to the technique used in his Fifth Symphony. The variations are brief with all eleven happening within ten minutes. They make no concession to the showpiece element of the band-contest; here all is discipline – music heard through the brass band rather than notes written to demonstrate it or to entertain with it. In 1988, it was scored for large wind ensemble by Donald Hunsberger, conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Following the introduction (andante maestoso) the variations flow without pause. The style and tempo changes are easily discernible, particularly in the canon, waltz, fugue, and chorale.
Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1 (1986)
Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1 was inspired by Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. Using the same instrumentation as Copland’s fanfare, the original theme also resembles the first theme in the Copland. It is dedicated to women who take risks and who are adventurous. Written under the Fanfare Project and commissioned by the Houston Symphony, the premiere performance took place on January 10, 1987, Hans Vonk, conductor. The work is dedicated to conductor and friend Marin Alsop.
Sanctuary was commissioned by the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association in honor of H. Robert Reynolds. Written as a single movement, Ticheli takes the listener on a musical journey exploring diverse musical textures. It is no coincidence that he chose the horn to be the primary messenger of musical material. Mr. Reynolds played the horn in his early years. The opening pitches of the prologue also spell his first name, Harrah; an idea Ticheli also used in Postcard, which was written in honor of Mr. Reynolds mother. Providing inspiration for the work were memories Ticheli has of Reynolds conducting Percy Grainger’s Hill Song No. 2 and Colonial Song. He writes of Sanctuary that these other works “were also in the back of my mind, as the sounds that I created in some ways echo the lyrical mood of these works.” The word sanctuary conjures an array of images, potentially implying a place of solitude, comfort, rest, prayer, and protection. A place that is both strong and imposing, yet small and private. All of these images are suggested musically during the work.
Pines of Rome (1924)
Pines of Rome (Pini di Roma) opened with boos and hisses from the audience at the end of the first movement. Respighi anticipated this due to its “discordant trumpet writing.” The rest of the piece was well received and Pines of Rome soon established itself as a popular modern classic. The work is in four sections: The Pine Trees of the Villa Borghese - a musical representation of children at play in the pine groves of the Villa, Pine Trees near a Catacomb - portraying deep shadows at the entrance to the catacombs with an haunting echo like chant, The Pine Trees of the Janiculum - in the dark the moon reveals the outline of the pines of Giancolos Hill, and The Pines of the Appian Way - depicting the sun rising along the majestic road leading to the Roman capital.