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Robert Chastain

Robert Chastain

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General Info

Year: 2009 / 2015
Duration: c. 11:10
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Unknown
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Bobby Chastain’s Metanoia is a more radical piece, a sound poem with lots of atmosphere and well-rendered effects such as a rich texture of interweaving rhythmic fragments by different sections and groups of instruments, or the total disintegration of a densely written climax — one of many in the piece — into a bleak moonscape of sound. Chastain composed Metanoia in 2009, but this was the world premiere of the re-orchestration for symphonic wind orchestra, commissioned by Curious Flights. The piece could have lasting appeal for wind ensembles around the world.

- Review Note by Niels Swinkels

The mighty sound continued with Chastain's Metanoia, a 12-tone depiction of a psychotic breakdown, which was certainly ambitious but bombastic barely describes the repeated aural assaults and 27 different endings that made up the work. I have to give the composer credit for courage but the piece became tedious fast.

- Review Note by Michael Strickland

Metanoia's harmonic language is wildly dissonant. I decided to explore the unorthodox tonal application of a 12-tone row. I realize my decision to use such an atonal device might seem outmoded. As I listen to the development of style around me, few composers are currently using the techniques developed by the Second Viennese School (Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, and Alban Berg). However, I found in forcing myself into previously unexplored (for me) harmonic territory, I gave my ear a new palette of possibilities. The sonic result is assertively “violent” sounding, contrasted by moments of serenity. The wild contrast begs the question: is Metanola a work about peaceful meditation or one of violent upheaval? However, too much linguistic metaphor runs the risk of distracting from the music. As for this composer, I found one “conversion” or “metanola,” in my awareness that harmony and form do not exist in isolation, but one must inform the other. Indeed, one finds its driving force of life in the other.

- Program Note by composer

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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  • San Francisco Wind Ensemble (San Mateo, Calif.) (Martin H. Seggelke, conductor) – 21 April 2018
  • San Francisco Wind Ensemble (Robert Chastain, conductor) – 13 March 2016 – *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by this Composer