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Octandre

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Edgard Varèse

Edgard Varèse (ed. Chou)


General Info

Year: 1923 / 1980
Duration: c. 6:45
Difficulty: VII (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: G. Ricordi & Co.
Cost: Score and Parts - $38.95  |   Score Only - $23.95


Movements

1. Assez lent - 2:40
2. Tres vif et nerveux - 1:45
3. Grave-Anime et jubilatoire - 2:20


Instrumentation

Full Score
Flute (doubling piccolo)
Oboe
Bassoon
Bb Soprano Clarinet (doubling Eb Soprano Clarinet)
Horn in F
Trumpet (in C)
Trombone
String Bass


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Octandre is a work for small orchestra by Edgard Varèse, written in 1923 and published by J. Curwen & Sons in London in 1924.

- Program Note from Wikipedia


Edgard Varèse was a French-born composer who spent the better part of his career in the United States. He began his studies in Paris at the Schola Cantorum in the early 20th century with mentors such as Roussel, Bordes, and d’lndy, as well as Charles Widor. Upon a hiatus in Berlin, he was introduced to Ferruccio Busoni and Arnold Schoenberg who had a strong influence on his compositional style. In 1915, he immigrated to New York, where he spent the majority and remainder of his career.

Octandre was composed in 1923, and was premiered by E. Robert Schmitz the following year. Robert Schmitz was a renowned performer of Debussy’s piano literature and was dedicated to performing works of living composers. Octandre, which refers to a flower with eight stamens, is scored for eight players.

The piece is in three movements labeled by tempo; each movement sets a particular mood by beginning with a different solo instrument. The first movement opens with a chant-like oboe melody featuring a minor second interval and its inversion, the major seventh. This melody is followed by a response from the clarinet with repeated notes, and is interrupted by intense sounds from the brass, clearly influenced by Stravinsky. The movement ends with “the feeling of the beginning (a little anxious),” which the composer indicated in the score. The second movement begins with a scherzo featuring repeated notes in the piccolo, which are overtaken by the brass. The final chord intensifies before relaxing into a double bass solo leading into the finale, which begins “Grave,” but bursts into a lively fugue with successive entrances by the oboe, bassoon, and clarinet.

- Program note by Dustin Ferguson for American Chamber Winds concert program, 18 July 2017


Commercial Discography


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Cincinnati (Ohio) College-Conservatory of Music Chamber Winds (Kevin Michael Holzman, conductor) – 9 February 2020
  • McGill University (Montreal, Que.) Wind Orchestra (Charles-Éric Fontaine, conductor) – 1 November 2019
  • Boston (Mass.) Conservatory Wind Ensemble (Vimbayi Kaziboni, conductor) – 22 February 2019
  • Dallas (Tx.) Winds (Jerry Junkin, conductor) – 22 January 2019
  • Boston University (Mass.) Wind Ensemble (David Martins, conductor) – 13 November 2018
  • Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Penn.) Wind Ensemble (Stephen Story, conductor) – 29 September 2018
  • University of Massachusetts (Amherst) Wind Ensemble (Matthew Westgate, conductor) - 22 April 2018
  • New England Conservatory (Boston, Mass.) Wind Ensemble (Charles Peltz, conductor) – 7 November 2017
  • American Chamber Winds (United States) (John M. Watkins, conductor) – 18 July 2017 - WASBE Conference (Utrecht, Netherlands)
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City, Wind Symphony (Steven D. Davis, conductor) – 1 December 2016
  • Temple University (Philadelphia) Wind Symphony Chamber Winds (Emily Threinen, conductor) – 23 March 2016


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources

  • Octandre, Wikipedia Accessed 18 July 2017
  • Varese, E.; Chou, W. (2000). Octandre: for 8 Instruments [score]. Ricordi: [Milano].