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Love Among the Ruins

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James Syler

James Syler

General Info

Year: 2016
Duration: c. 18:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: James Syler
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $250.00   |   Score Only (print) - $30.00


Full Score
Flute I-II-III
Alto Flute
Oboe I/English Horn
Oboe II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Flugelhorn I-II
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
Euphonium I-II
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Field Snare Drum
  • Marimba
  • Sizzle Cymbal
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Vibraphone
  • Wind Chimes

Solo Viola


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In recent works, I’ve become interested in music that creates a space for contemplation. Music that creates a journey between two points. The subject in this work is love as a timeless force. Its continuation in our lives beyond the grave, throughout time and space, and amidst the personal loss, difficulties, or ruins of our lives. The title is from the poem Love Among the Ruins by Robert Browning.

This is not a concerto in the traditional sense, but rather a work that features the viola for its color, expressivity, and voice within a narrative. That narrative is left to the listener. I use a transformational technique where music that appears in the beginning is gradually transformed into new ideas which are then transformed into even newer ideas. It is always evolving as a metaphor for love as a transforming force. It also borrows from a previous work titled Fields that I've always felt there was more to say before and after it. The phrase by the Roman poet Virgil seems to have become appropriate for this work - "Amor Vincit Omnia" (Love Conquers All)

The music was commissioned by a consortium of 14 colleges led by Dr. Matthew Schlomer, Director of Bands at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen, Michigan.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Denver (Colo.) Lamont Wind Ensemble (Joseph Martin, conductor; Basil Vendryes, viola) - 4 May 2022
  • University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg) Wind Ensemble (Catherine Rand, conductor; Hsiaopei Lee, viola) - 7 October 2021
  • Trinity University (San Antonio, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (Jim Worman, conductor; Joseph Kneer, viola) - 9 May 2021
  • Stephen F. Austin State University (Nacogdoches, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (David Campo, conductor) – 8 October 2019
  • Philadelphia (Penn.) Wind Symphony (Virginia Allen, conductor; Gerry Rice, viola) – 18 May 2019
  • University of Colorado Boulder Wind Symphony (Donald J. McKinney, conductor; Erika Eckert, viola) – 15 November 2018
  • Gustavus Adolphus College (Saint Peter, Minn.) Wind Orchestra (James Patrick Miller, conductor; Justin Knoepfel, viola) – 11 November 2018
  • University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Wind Symphony (John R. Stewart, conductor; Molly Gebrian, viola) - 12 October 2018
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Wind Ensemble (Evan Feldman, conductor) – 23 February 2018 (CBDNA 2018 Southern Conference, Tampa, Fla.)
  • University of Miami (Coral Gables) Frost Wind Ensemble (Robert Carnochan, conductor; Jodi Levitz, viola) – 21 February 2018
  • Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton) Wind Ensemble (Kyle Prescott, conductor) – 29 November 2017
  • Emory University (Atlanta) Wind Ensemble (Paul Bhasin, conductor) – 14 November 2017
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Wind Ensemble (Cynthia Johnston Turner, conductor; Maggie Snyder, viola) – 14 November 2017
  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Wind Ensemble (Kevin M. Geraldi, conductor; Scott Rawls, viola) – 1 October 2017
  • Emory Wind Ensemble (Paul Bhasin , conductor; Yinzi Kong, viola) - 2017

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works