Bringer of War

From Wind Repertory Project
Brian Balmages

Brian Balmages

Subtitle: After Holst

General Info

Year: 2017
Duration: c. 2:15
Difficulty: 1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: FJH Music Company
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $125.00   |   Score Only (print) - $18.00


Full Score
B-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet
Horn in F
String Bass
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tom-Tom


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Inspired by the masterful work The Planets by Gustav Holst, this original piece pays homage to the dramatic first movement. Using only six notes in all instruments, the music has the powerfully ominous quality of Mars that has enthralled generations of listeners with bold, majestic melodies and rhythmic ostinato.

- Program Note from publisher

Commissioned by the Elementary Schools of Fox Chapel Area School District (Penn.) and inspired by Gustav Holst’s amazing orchestral work The Planets, this original work pays homage to the first movement of the suite. Mars, The Bringer of War, opening with a two-measure ostinato, begins to evolve as various sections add layers of sound. Following the basic form of Holst’s masterpiece, the introduction becomes very powerful before moving into a softer and more lyrical section, with the ostinato staying present. The height of the piece is reached as the full brass and low woodwinds perform the menacing theme underneath the continuing ostinato in the high woodwinds. The work ends as the ostinato is broken and the music slows down dramatically, echoing the ending of the original.

- Program Note by Rich Pauch for the Wheaton Municipal Band concert program, 21 December 2017


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer

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