Leaves Are Falling, The
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Bb Soprano Saxophone (Opt. Eb Alto Saxophone)
Eb Alto Saxophone
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Cornet (in Bb) I-II-III
Trumpet (in Bb) I-II-III
French Horn I-II-III-IV
Harp (or Piano)
Percussion I-II-III, including:
- Bass Drum
- Cymbals (Suspended)
- Tubular Bells
None discovered thus far.
Completed in January, 1964, The Leaves Are Falling introduced to the large wind ensemble-band literature a kind of music which in its single movement length and introspective character was unknown to that time. The work was commissioned by Kappa Gamma Psi, a small national music fraternity of which Frank L. Battisti, Ithaca, N.Y., was an officer. It was through him that the commission came about. It was to have its premiere performance on the American Music Festival of May 1964, by the Eastman Wind Ensemble under Clyde A. Roller, conductor, in the Eastman Theatre of the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York.
The Leaves Are Falling is a statement of grief following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. For Benson, his feelings on the matter were encapsulated by Rainer Maria Rilke‘s poem Herbst (Autumn) from Buch der Bilder:
The leaves are falling, falling as if from afar,
as though far gardens withered in the skies;
They are falling with denying gestures.
And in the nights the heavy earth is falling
from all the stars down into loneliness.
We all are falling. This hand falls.
And look at the others: it is in them all.
And yet there is one, who holds this falling
with infinite gentleness in his hands.
- Program Note from score
The Leaves are Falling is a patient work, allowing sustained tones to evolve into sonorities that subsequently emerge as themes. Players require control to perform extended, often dissonant, harmonies for much of the piece. As such, collegiate ensembles would likely have the greatest degree of success with this work. The composer quotes familiar melodies that engage the audience throughout; at the same time, the manipulation and development of motives is sophisticated enough to challenge fine performers.
- Notes from Great Music for Wind Band
- Alabama: Class AA
- California: VI Class AA
- Florida: VI
- Iowa: V
- Indiana: ISSMA SENIOR BAND GROUP I
- Louisiana: V
- Massachusetts: VI
- Michigan: AA
- North Carolina: VI
- Oklahoma: V-A
- South Carolina: VI
- Tennessee: V
- Texas: V. Complete
- Virginia: V
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Texas Tech University (Lubbock) Symphonic Band (Eric Allen, conductor) – 22 March 2019
- State University of New York, Potsdam, Symphonic Band (Brian K. Doyle, conductor) – 15 November 2018
- Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Penn.) Wind Ensemble (George Vosburgh, conductor) – 11 November 2018
- Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Indiana, Penn.) Wind Ensemble (Timothy Paul, conductor) – 10 November 2018
- University of Texas (Austin) Wind Symphony (Scott Hanna, conductor) – 10 October 2018
- University of Miami (Coral Gables) Frost Wind Ensemble (Robert Carnochan, conductor) – 26 April 2018
- Penn State (College Park) Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Dennis Glocke, conductor) – 27 March 2018
- Indiana University (Bloomington) Symphonic Band (Eric M. Smedley, conductors) – 14 November 2017
- Nazareth College Wind Symphony (Rochester, N.Y.) (Jared Chase, conductor) - 29 October 2017
- Ohlone Wind Orchestra (Fremont, Calif.) (Tony Clements, conductor) – 29 October 2017
- University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Orchestra (Elizabeth Peterson, conductor) – 7 March 2017
- Central Michigan University (Mount Pleasant) Wind Symphony (John E. Williamson, conductor) – 1 December 2016
- University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble (Angela Holt, conductor) – 11 October 2016
- University of Colorado Boulder Symphonic Band (Donald J. McKinney, conductor)– 4 February 2016
- Eastman Wind Orchestra (Mark Davis Scatterday, conductor) - 24 November 2014
- University of Louisiana-Lafayette Wind Ensemble (William Hochkeppel, conductor) - 25 February 2014
- Texas Tech University Symphonic Band - 25 November 2013
- Norwegian Windband (Ole Edvard Antonsen, conductor) - July 2012
- Texas Tech University Symphonic Band - November 25, 2013
Works for Winds by this Composer
- Beaded Leaf, The
- Concertino for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble (1955)
- Danzon-Memory (1991)
- Daughter of the Stars (1998)
- Dawn's Early Light
- Ginger Marmalade (1978)
- The Leaves Are Falling (1964)
- The Passing Bell (1974)
- Remembrance (1962)
- Recuerdo (1966)
- Scherzo, Chorale, and Aria Serena (2002)
- Shadow Wood
- The Solitary Dancer (1969)
- Symphony for Drums and Wind Orchestra (1963)
- Symphony No. 2, "Lost Songs"
- Hunsberger, Donald (2003). The Wind Band and Its Repertoire, p. 8-21. New York: Warner Brothers.
- "The Leaves Are Falling by Warren Benson." Wind Band Literature. Web. Accessed 25 April 2018
- Nicholson, Chad. (2009). Great Music for Wind Band: A Guide to the Top 100 Works in Grades IV, V, VI. Galesville, MD: Meredith Music Publications. pp 22-23.
- Warren Benson website