Duels and Dances

From Wind Repertory Project
James Stephenson

James Stephenson

Subtitle: For Solo Oboist and Wind Ensemble

General Info

Duration: c. 13:25
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Stephenson Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $300.00   |   Score Only (print) - $60.00


Full Score
Solo Oboe, using:

  • Bass Oboe
  • Oboe d'Amore
  • English Horn
  • Musette
  • Oboe

C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
B-flat Bass Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Percussion (5 players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Claves
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Guiro
  • Marimba
  • Ratchet
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tenor Drum
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The inspiration for Duels and Dances came, strangely enough, while attending a church service in my hometown of Lake Forest, Ill. During the prelude (a Baroque piece), I was struck by how interesting the music can be, even if only one or two voices are being used. This thought process led to the imagery of a soloist and ensemble “fighting” one another (admittedly this is not entirely original), which then in turn led to the concept of duels. The concerto is therefore largely built around “fight sequences”, where both soloist and ensemble participate in, or comment upon, music that suggests action of an aggressive nature. All music requires, or thrives on, contrast, of course, and that is where the dances come in. Alex Klein – for whom the concerto was written – is a musician of incomparable musicality, and I wanted to highlight this innate ability he possesses. The melodic material in his part is often accompanied by rhythmic counterpoint with a dance quality. Though not immediately related to the music of Prokofiev or Bernstein, I have always been struck by how their music is so dance-like, and therefore so human.

Duels and Dances was commissioned by the wonderful Minnesota Commissioning Club, and I am deeply indebted to them for their continued support of my music. Along with the club, the piece is dedicated to Alex Klein, and to The “President’s Own” United States Marine Band, all of whom are musicians of the highest degree, and for whom it is the ultimate pleasure to create music. Lastly, it should be noted that the piece is a through-composed one-movement concerto, lasting roughly 13 minutes. It uses five different oboes (at Alex’s request) – in performance order: bass oboe, oboe d’amore, English horn, oboe and musette. There is also a version for the more common instruments of the oboe family: English horn and oboe.

- Program Note by composer

Commissioned by the Minnesota Commissioning Club for and premiered by Alex Klein and "The President's Own" United States Marine Band, at Norfolk, Virginia, March 4, 2011, for the American Bandmaster's Association Conference.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by this Composer

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