Friday, December 03, 2010

Symphonic Band Concert: Director's Notes

Music of Holst, Giovonnini, Broege, Anderson, Fillmore and Van der Roost.

Holst’s Second Suite for Military Band, one of the keystone works of the band literature, uses English folk songs and folk dances throughout. It is a joy to play and to hear.

Puszta by Dutch composer Jan Van der Roost is also a suite. Although its four Gypsy Dances are related to the Slavic Folk tradition in the same way that the Second Suite is related to English, all four tunes are original compositions. The character and sounds of the pieces are reminiscent of the Hungarian and Slavic Dances of Brahms and Dvorak.

Sinfonia III by Timothy Broege is a tribute to the composer’s late father. Broege said about this work:"There are in Sinfonia III both light and shadow, both humor and seriousness in an attempt to depict in sound ….. something of the nature of this man who showered so much love upon his wife and four sons and enriched the lives of the many people who knew him.”

Jubilance a concert overture by Caesar Giovonnini reflects the many moods of modern life – our restless, impatient, impulsive energetic existence. Thoughts are never fully brought to completion, new ideas intrude before the previous ones finish. Jubilance is by nature a sunny and optimistic work with soaring melodic lines over kinetic ostinatos.

His Honor by Henry Fillmore is popular with both audiences and performers. The title refers to Mayor Russell Wilson a man who impressed Fillmore with both his executive ability and sense of humor. With its unexpected melodic and rhythmic changes, it remains among his most popular marches.

A Christmas Festival by Leroy Anderson. Anderson was a high school music teacher in Massachusetts who was asked by Arthur Fielder of the Boston Pops to do some arrangements and original light music compositions. When he arranged “A Christmas Festival” in 1950, it was a new idea. Many composers have set Christmas music for band since then, but none are better than this – the Granddaddy of them all.

--Kenneth Ayoob

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