Thursday, October 8, 2015
Concord Band Begins 57th Season with "Mystical Moments"
Our Fall Concert, Mystical Moments, will be presented at 51 Walden, Concord’s Performing Arts Center, on Saturday, October 24, 2015, at 8:00 PM. The concert features music with programmatic undertones penned by American and international composers, and traverses a series of mysterious and magical musical episodes.
Old Churches is one of many original works by American-born composer Michael Colgrass, and is based on early church music known as Gregorian Chant. This mysterious monastic scene employs moments of aleatoric chance techniques (pitches played without rhythm at each player’s discretion) and unison call and response chant melodies.
Prelude and Dance of the Mystic Flames is a setting for band by William E. Rhoads suggested by the piano preludes of Alexander Scriabin. Paying a nod to Scriabin’s interest in mysticism, the arrangement for band captures the lush and complex harmonic sonorities and dissonant musical system of the original Scriabin piano preludes, opening with a slow and majestic Andante, and concluding with a brisk and furious Allegro.
Among his countless marches, the instrumentation of John Philip Sousa’s Nobles of the Mystic Shrine is unique, as it includes harp, triangle, and tambourine. The inclusion of these non-traditional marching band instruments provides a setting, texture, and style derived from the clanking and chiming Turkish music associated with the Shriners, previously known as the “Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine”. Also unique is the musical form— an introduction and first strain set in Bb minor, unusual for the majority of Sousa’s marches. Sousa was a Shriner and member of the Temple Almas in Washington, D. C., being named the first honorary director of the Temple Shrine Band in 1922.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (which is set in a musical form known as a scherzo [joke]) by Paul Dukas is widely recognized thanks to the Disney animated film classic, Fantasia, in which Mickey Mouse plays the title role. A highly programmatic and challenging work arranged for band by Mark Hindsley, the arrangement places much of the difficult orchestral violin and viola writing in the band flute, oboe and clarinet parts. The work captures the magic of the sorcerer’s apprentice casting his master’s magical spell on the broomstick to bring water from the well, leading to a tidal flooding and furious conclusion.
The title of John Barnes Chance’s Incantation and Dance may conjure images of religious association, but it is purely a work of mystery and imagination, ending with ferocious syncopations, fast and wild woodwind flourishes, and driving brass and percussion exchanges. [see related article]
"Chernomor’s March" is from Mikhail Glinka’s setting of the 1842 opera, Ruslan and Lyudmila, in which Chernomor is an old dwarf with a long white beard who is also an evil sorcerer. Arranged for symphonic wind ensemble by Concord Band clarinetist Jerry Vabulas, the march portrays an individual (Chernomor) and his profound sense of self-importance. Beginning with a pompous opening motive that repeats many times, each restatement says the same thing over and over, just a little louder each time.
Posted by Concord Band Association at 12:00 AM