Echoes

From Wind Repertory Project
Samuel Hazo

Samuel Hazo


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General Info

Year: 2005
Duration: c. 4:50
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Cost: Score and Parts - $75.00   |   Score Only - $7.95


Movements

1. Prelude, Fanfare in Memoriam
2. Fugue, A Lifetime of Giving
3. Chorale, Gifts Awakening


Instrumentation

Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe
Bassoon
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Timpani
Percussion I-II-III-IV

(percussion detail desired)


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Echoes was commissioned by Louis Piazza, representative of the Columbia County Band Director's Association, in October of 2002. At the onset of the commissioning process, this piece (then untitled) was to be a living tribute to Richard E. Martin, beloved band director at Benton High School in northeastern Pennsylvania. Mr. Martin was battling cancer and the prognosis, though still uncertain, was not hopeful. The world premiere was scheduled for February 28, 2003, by the Columbia County Honors Band. Mr. Martin, his wife and thirteen-year-old son were to attend. Unfortunately, I received a letter from Louis Piazza just before Thanksgiving 2002 informing me that Richard Martin had just lost his battle with cancer. Even before Rick's passing, this piece was the most difficult commission I had ever received. Following that notification, the creative and emotional pressures grew exponentially. In addition, I was sorrowed beyond the feelings of grief because I had never met Rick Martin, and I was anticipating him hearing what his friends and colleagues commissioned me to compose in his honor.

To venerate Richard Martin's legacy, I decided to musically depict an ideal that is applicable to all in education: "The more we give of ourselves, the more our lives resound." As teachers, we never know when, and rarely witness, the moments our students suddenly realize the meaning or the ardor behind the lessons we gave them. This is probably most true of music teachers, as their work with students is not only heartfelt, but seemingly unending. It constantly goes beyond the school day and, at times, has little to do with music, but rather helping young people through difficult personal situations. (Just ask any high school band director.) Music teachers devote themselves and their lives to enriching young people through a wonderful art form. Moreover, these educators are aware that even though very few of their students will choose music as a career, all students will need to have a dimension that appreciates and understands music so that one day, perhaps far in the future, a seed nurtured in the rehearsal room will blossom into a gratifying part of someone's life.

Movement I. Prelude Fanfare in Memoriam. Commencing with church chimes, the introductory theme repeats in the wind instruments with countermelodies that switch between sounding ceremonial and mournful. Following that section, chordal harmonies provide a bridge to very lush chords symbolizing "the gifts given." These chords will emerge again in the third movement's opening, "Gifts Awakening " This section flows into the "echo" of the recapitulated church chime theme, this time ending with a Picardi harmony to symbolize dignity. The first movement closes with three church chimes, the first two played in time, and the third left to ring to its natural decay symbolling life, death and then eternal life.

Movement II. Fugue — A Lifetime of Giving: The second movement is structured to symbolize a teacher's cycle of giving: day to day, year to year, throughout a lifetime. This fugue movement has many hidden symbolic meanings. First, in form it is a "cyclical palindrome," meaning that it is the same forward as it is backward (A — B —C —B —A). Second, to expand on the cyclical palindrome, the fugue enters in its normal order, but at the end of the movement, it goes out in the reverse order of what it should, with each section of the fugal line starting at a point different than it did at the beginning, while still remaining tonal. Finally, Richard Martin loved the hymn A Might Fortress Is Our God. A clever analyst will find it hidden contiguously between three instruments of the fugue section.

Movement II. Chorale — Awakening: The third movement opens with chords foreshadowed in the first movement, previously symbolizing "gifts given" and now symbolizing "gifts awakening." Musically, the chords are voiced exactly the same, but the timbre this time sounds uplifting through the use of the bell's ostinato as well as the alto saxophone/oboe soli.

The "gifts awakening" segment segues into the echoed Fanfare in Memoriam, now slightly faster and played over the percussive quote from Holst's Mars. (Richard loved both classical orchestral music and wind band music, so this quote seemed most appropriate in the restatement of his fanfared legacy.) This recapitulated fanfare sounds noble and full, with even the mournful countermelody giving the section a feeling of power when phrased against percussion. The fanfare then crescendos into the grand chorale. This emotive chorale symbolizes the epitome of the magnificent influence music, and its teacher, can have on young people. The chorale then fades and gives way to the Fanfare in Memoriam quietly played by woodwinds and then repeated by chimes, just as in the opening of the piece.

The three chords that close the piece are echoed from the first movement's final three chime notes. The symbolism is still the same: life, death and eternal life. However, this time Richard Martin's life, not only eternal in Heaven, is also made eternal on Earth through the legacy of what he gave to young people, symbolized by all members of the band playing those last three chords.

- Program Note by composer


Media


State Ratings

  • Kansas: IV
  • Louisiana: V
  • Mississippi: V-A
  • North Carolina: IV
  • Tennessee: III
  • West Virginia: III


Performances

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Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music


All Wind Works


Resources