Princeton New Jersey, Todd Nichols, Conductor In Memory of Patricia Page Van Abs
Premiers June 9, 2018 by the Eastern Wind Symphony,
Todd Nichols Conducting, Princeton University, New Jersey.
Premiers July, 2018, The Musashino Academia,
Ray E. Cramer Conducting, Tokyo, Japan.
Performance October 23, 2018 by the University of North Texas Symphonic Band,
Dennis Fisher Conducting, Denton, Texas.
III. WIND in Eflat
Starting with a lone Bassoon 1 held note, Mother Nature spins a small breeze with the flutes and clarinets. The technical runs which are used throughout the entire movement have built-in motion with up and down movements, many of which happen in each small statement in each instrument. The first wind blows itself out in measure 31 with a crescendo and flourish of notes. In measure 32 the wind starts again with a more devious nature. This wind also winds down but instead of stopping completely, is lightly formed into a magical breeze, like that on a beautiful, deserted island or the winds that Peter Pan soars upon.
Measures 90 to 124 represents such a wind beginning with, again, the magic “twinkling” of melodic percussion. Jazzy woodwinds are added to the “twinkling” magic with fluid solos in the Alto Saxophone, B-flat Clarinet 1 and French Horn, representing a perfect breeze playing across bare flesh. This is the first “revisit” of a theme from a previous moment but only in orchestration here, not thematically.
Measure 125, sub-headed “Storm Brewing,” is exactly that. It starts out small, but takes on immense power which abruptly stops. A percussion feature section takes over with driving rhythms and solos. The rest of the wind ensemble is added gradually and quickly grows into a huge tornado which just as quickly disappears. At first it feels like we have escaped the full force of wind but then it hits with hurricane force music which drives relentlessly to the end. There is a recap of the main thematic material of “Sun” woven into the wind theme. The tornado is not only represented in the audio of this movement, but visually in the score as well.