Thesis: Wind Ensemble

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Wind Ensemble

Concert review: Wind Ensemble

Throughout the concert, most pieces made ample use of the variety of instruments at their disposal, including flues, oboes, English and regular horns, base and regular clarinets, bassoons and contrabassoons, trumpets, trombones, tubas, and percussion instruments, as well as piano and strings. Clearly, the showpiece work of the evening was Karel Husa's "Music for Prague 1968." As its name suggests, it was written in commemoration of the brief flowering of democracy in Prague in 1968, before the Russian invasion of the country. The work makes use of both old and new musical sounds, beginning with a plaintive Renaissance-style choruses and a soft timpani drum. According to the program, in which the composer's own notes were transcribed verbatim "the first and most important" theme is the fragmented use of an old war song from the 15th century, "Ye Warriors of God and His Law," a resistance song. "The beginning of this religious song is announced very softly in the first movement by timpani and concludes in a strong unison Chorale. The song is never used in its entirety. The second idea is the sound of bells throughout; Prague, named also the City of Hundreds of Towers, has used its magnificently sounding church bells as calls of distress as well as of victory."

Although this gives a somewhat medieval cast to the work, the pastiche quality of the song and the bells stands in contrast to more traditional reworkings of Renaissance pieces such as the more linear, toe-tapping melodies of Tylman Susato: "The Danserye." The use of religious choruses is subtle and ambiguous, in contrast to David Gillingham's more straightforward "Be Thou Vision" or even the elastic vocal tones of Pavel Tschesnokoff: "Salvation is Created." Although other works during the evening such as Alfred Reed: "Armenian Dances, Part I" and Andreas Makris: "Aegean Festival Overture" made use of traditional, nationalistic melodies, the juxtaposition of "Ye Warriors" and the holy bells of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Wind Ensemble."  Essaytown.com.  March 1, 2009.  Accessed July 23, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/wind-ensemble/7796246.