Mare Tranquillitatis (Octet)

From Wind Repertory Project
Roger Zare

Roger Zare

General Info

Year: 3007 / 2012/ 2020
Duration: c. 6:250
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Roger Zare Music
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown

Instrumentation (Flex)

Full Score
Oboe/English Horn (or Oboe with no doubling or Soprano Saxophone or B-flat Soprano Clarinet)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet (or Alto Saxophone)
Bassoon (or Baritone Saxophone)
B-flat Trumpet
Horn in F (or Tenor Saxophone)
Trombone (or Euphonium)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

I was commissioned in the summer of 2007 by Jeffrey Bishop to write a short piece for his string orchestra at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School in Kansas City. They premiered the string version of this work on February 12, 2008. In 2012, a consortium of wind ensembles around the United States commissioned a transcription of this work for band, and it was premiered throughout the 2012-2013 season.

Mare Tranquillitatis translates to "Sea of Tranquility," and is the famous location on the moon where Apollo 11 landed and the first man set foot on the lunar surface. The music seeks to capture a dichotomy of emotions -- tranquil beauty and restless isolation. All of the musical material is derived from only two ideas -- the descending fourth heard in the opening bar, and the flowing and surging melody heard not long after. These two ideas trade back and forth within a contrapuntal texture, swelling and flowing as they interact with each other. The music recedes into a quieter realm and a quartet of soloists emerges, juxtaposing the lush full textures with a delicate and intimate passage.

After many peaks and dips, the emotional arc of the piece culminates in the long-awaited return of the second theme. It grows and transforms into a sweeping gesture, bringing closure to the pent-up tension from before. What follows is an epilogue, and the piece ends with one final tender moment with the solo quartet.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Iowa (Iowa City) Symphony Band (Richard Mark Heidel, conductor) - 4 May 2021
  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Symphony (Caroline Hand, conductor) - 20 April 2021
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) University Wind Ensemble (Lauren Visel, conductor) - 25 March 2021

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works