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In Wartime

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David Del Tredici

David Del Tredici

General Info

Year: 2003
Duration: c. 17:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $175.00    |   Score Only (print) - $14.95

Movements (played without pause)

1. Hymn – 5:30
2. Battlemarch – 11:35


Full Score
C Piccolo I-II
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
C Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
Tuba I-II
String Bass
Percussion (7 players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongo (high)
  • Claves
  • Conga (low)
  • Cowbell
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glass Wind Chimes
  • Glockenspiel
  • Hi-Hat
  • Marimba
  • Mark Tree
  • Ratchet
  • Sirens (2; low and high, hand cranked)
  • Sleigh Bells
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbals (2: small and large)
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-tams (2: small and large)
  • Tenor Drum
  • Tom-Tom (medium)
  • Triangle
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Wind Machine (large)
  • Wood Blocks (2: low and high)
  • Xylophone


In parts:

  • Trombone, m.127: Marcato accents (>) are missing from beats one and two
  • Trombone, m.135: Marcato accents (>) are missing from beats one and two
  • Trombone, m.171: Marcato accents (>) are missing from beats one and two
  • Trombone, m.306: Marcato accents (>) are missing from beats one and two
  • Tuba, m.76: String bass cue should reflect A-flat on beat one
  • Celesta, m.119: Accidental B-flat is missing from the right-hand top octave on beat two

Program Notes

David Del Tredici’s In Wartime -- the first work for wind band by one of America’s masters of orchestral music -- matches its emotional depth with immediate musical appeal. The opening Hymn laces fragments of Abide With Me with swirling counterpoint, while the following Battlemarch brings an ominous march-theme into a frenzied conflict with the Persian national song, Salamati, Shah! Daring, brilliantly orchestrated and absolutely unique, In Wartime is a landmark in the repertoire.

- Program note by publisher

In Wartime, my first piece for wind symphony, was begun on November 16, 2002, and completed on March 16 (my birthday), 2003 — as momentous a four-month period in U.S. history as I have experienced. November's dramatic congressional mandate for war had become, by March, the shocking international reality of war. With my TV blaring, I composed throughout this period, feeling both irresistibly drawn to the developing news and more than a little guilty to be unable to turn the tube off. Composing music at such a time may have seemed an irrelevant pursuit, but it nevertheless served to keep me sane, stable and sanguine, despite the world's spiraling maelstrom.

In Wartime is comprised of two connected movements — Hymn and Battlemarch. The first, Hymn, has the character of a chorale prelude, with fragments of Abide With Me embedded beneath a welter of contrasting and contrapuntal musical material. After a climax, the well-known hymn tune is presented in its unadorned form. As the stately phrases progress, all the bustling earlier music gradually returns and is superimposed atop the hymn; the surprising combination — in musicological terms, a quodlibet — suggests not only an expanding musical universe, but also a coalescence of forces in prayer before battle.

Heralded by a long, ominous roll on the snare drum and a steady, measured tread, Battlemarch announces the start of war. In a wave-like series of pulsing four-bar phrases, the musical energy repeatedly pushes forward, then recedes. Like the incoming tide, the waves encroach inexorably on new harmonic ground; like a gathering storm, the waveforms grow in enormity and frenzy, until their fateful confrontation with Salamati, Shah! (the national song of Persia), laced as well with quotes from the opening of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. With East battling West in musical terms, this trio section of the march builds to the movement's climax. As the overwhelming wash of sound subsides, the opening march-theme returns, now battle-weary but growing nevertheless to a full-throttled recapitulation and finale — marked, inevitably, by a wail of pain.

In Wartime is dedicated to a comrade in musical arms -- my good friend and fellow composer, Stephen Burke.

- Program note by composer

Commissioned by Florida State University, James Croft, conductor; University of Texas at Austin, Jerry Junkin, conductor; Baylor University, Kevin Sedetole, conductor; University of Michigan, Michael Haithcock, conductor; University of Tennessee, Gary Sousa, conductor


State Ratings

  • Louisiana: V
  • Mississippi: IV-A, V-A, VI-A


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Texas State University (San Marcos) Wind Symphony (Caroline Beatty, conductor) - 3 March 2023
  • Seattle (Wash.) Pacific University Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Danny Helseth, conductor) – 21 February 2020
  • University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Ensemble (Daniel Cook, conductor) – 13 November 2019
  • Rutgers University (New Brunswick, N.J.) Wind Ensemble (Kraig Williams, conductor) – 3 May 2019
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, Wind Symphony (Donna Dolson, conductor) – 25 April 2019
  • Belmont University (Nashville, Tenn.) Wind Ensemble (Barry Kraus, conductor) – 8 February 2019
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Wind Ensemble (Cynthia Johnston Turner, conductor) – 11 September 2018
  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Wind Ensemble (John R. Locke, conductor) – 19 April 2017
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing) Wind Symphony (Kevin Sedatole, conductor) – 31 January 2017
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Symphony Band (Michael Haithcock, conductor) – 27 October 2016
  • Seattle (Wash.) Pacific University Wind Ensemble (Danny Helseth, Conducting) – 27 February 2015
  • Los Angeles Pierce Symphonic Winds (Woodland Hills, Calif.) (Stephen P. Piazza, conductor) – 16 December 2004 (2004 Midwest Clinic)
  • Texas A&M University-Commerce Wind Ensemble (Bradley Kent, conductor) – 24 February 2005 (CBDNA 2005 National Conference, New York, N.Y.)
  • University of Texas (Austin) Wind Ensemble (Jerry Junkin, conductor) – 30 April 2003 – *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer