About this Recording
8.573453 - Wind Band Music - MAGNUSON, R.D. / HODKINSON, S. / OGREN, J. / MART├ŹNEZ GALLEGO, F.J. (Monuments) (Illinois State University Wind Symphony, Seggelke)

Music for Wind Symphony


Roy Magnuson (b. 1983): House Plants in Terracotta Pots

The plants we fill our houses with are beautiful in their simplicity, and simply beautiful in their complexity. This music comes from my sincere desire to create art that, like house plants, does a thing and does it well. A simple statement of something simply thought.

Roy Magnuson

Sydney Hodkinson (b. 1934): Duae Cantatae Breves

These two compositions were sketched on Easter Sunday (April 3, 1994) following a performance of Igor Stravinsky’s 1945 Mass, which I had conducted the previous Good Friday. They were originally entitled “anthems,” but their working-out evolved from the historical development of the anthem form (from Latin motet through 16th-century English and Italian models, the verse anthem) to the innovations—particularly by John Blow and Henry Purcell—that resembled the Cantata design. Both “short cantatas” are based on a fragment—and its transposition up a major second—from Gesualdo’s 16th-century madrigal Resta di darmi noia (“Cease to give me anguish [cruel and false thought]”). A resultant “12-note row” (but using only 9 pitches) provided the genesis for all of the material throughout the work. The pieces are simply two extended “commentaries” on the Gesualdo excerpt: the first (I) dealing with the ramifications of the melodic line (in the form of the slowly-unfolding canon), and the second (II) with the harmonic implications. One further motivation might be mentioned: there is an abundance of repertoire for the wind band that is ebullient and often rapid, written for popular occasions and festive events, but only a rather sparse selection that is truly slow and/or meditative. I wished to continue similar thoughts I had explored in earlier wind pieces (Pillar and Tower [1974], Cortege [1975], and Echo Preludes [1983]), maintaining a simple and direct sonic fabric in keeping with the solemn nature of my intent. Accordingly, the piece employs a limited percussion palette, intermediate technical demands, and a responsorial character. Duae Cantate Breves was commissioned by the College Band Directors National Association and a University Wind Ensemble Consortium, consisting of Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, and Yale Universities; the piece was written in memory of friends who had died within the past few years.

Sydney Hodkinson

Jayce John Ogren (b. 1979): Evening Music

Evening Music for soprano and wind ensemble was composed in February and March 2000 for the St. Olaf College Valhalla Band, James Miller and Jayce Ogren, conductors. It was premiered on May 15, 2000 at St. Olaf College’s Boe Memorial Chapel with Jennifer Horak, soprano and the composer conducting. Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) has been widely considered the greatest German poet of the early 20th century. Abend (“Evening”) is from The Book of Pictures (1902), a collection of short poems rich in imagery and with dark, almost mystical undertones. Evening Music is a setting of Stephen Mitchell’s English translation of the poem:

The sky puts on the darkening blue coat held for
it by a row of ancient trees: you watch: and the
lands grow distant in your sight, one journeying
to heaven, one that falls;
and leave you, not at home in either one, not
quite so still and dark as the darkened houses,
not calling to eternity with the passion of what
becomes a star each night, and rises;
and leave you (inexpressively to unravel) your
life, with its immensity and fear, so that, now
bounded, now immeasurable, it is alternately
stone in you and star.

Jayce John Ogren

F.J. Martínez Gallego (b. 1969): Sinfonía No. 1 ‘Kaprekar’

Dattatreya Ramachandra Kaprekar (1905–1986) was an Indian mathematician, whose name is associated with a series of concepts in number theory. Kaprekar was born in Dahanu near Bombay, India.

The number 6174 is known as “Kaprekar’s Constant” or the “Operation of Kaprekar” in honour of its founder. It has an interesting property:

1. Choose any four-digit number.
2. Arrange the digits in ascending and descending order to form two four-digit numbers.
3. Subtract the smaller number from the larger number.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the difference is 6174.

The operation, repeated if necessary several times (never more than seven), gives the result ending in 6174. The process ends because if the sequence of steps continues, the same result is achieved, as 7641-1467 equals 6174.

This figure, taken within the twelve notes of the chromatic scale, provides the melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic elements of my piece. Its elaborations and interpretations provide twelve-tone styles, mostly tonal and modal, and create an ambiguity between the two styles. The Sinfonía is a lively, twenty-seven minute piece written for a Spanish band, usually an ensemble of 100 or more musicians. The symphony is through-composed and tonal in nature. Several themes receive profound developmental treatment throughout the entire composition; and numerous meter changes and metric modulations add to the music’s high level of difficulty. The piece includes sections of sharp, pointed, rhythmic figures, pastoral melodies, and fast, flurrying sixteenth notes. The wild drive to the Sinfonía’s end punctuates this monumental work.

F.J. Martínez Gallego
English translation by Arturo Montaño

Close the window