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Power of Rome and the Christian Heart, The

From Wind Repertory Project
Percy Aldridge Grainger

Percy Aldridge Grainger (transcribed by the composer)


Subtitle: For Military Band and Pipe or Electric Organ (String Orchestra at will)


General Info

Year: 1943 / 1947 / 1953
Duration: c. 12:50
Difficulty: IV-1/2 (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Masters Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $90.00   |   Score Only (print) - $15.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
C Piccolo I-II
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Bass Saxophone
Cornets/Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
Baritone Horn
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Piano (the more pianos the better)
Celesta
Harp
Timpani
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong
  • Side Drum
  • Swiss Hand Bells
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Grainger described his thoughts concerning this work as follows:

Just as the early Christians found themselves in conflict with the power of ancient Rome, so, at all times and places, the Individual Conscience is apt to feel itself threatened or coerced by the Forces of Authority -- and especially in wartime. Men who hate fighting are forced to be soldiers, are horrified to find themselves called upon to fight in the ranks of their enemies. The sight of young recruits doing bayonet practice in the First World War gave me the first impulse to this composition which, however, is not in any sense program music and does not portray the drama of actual events. It is merely the unfoldment of musical feelings that were started by thoughts of the eternal glory of the Individual Soul in conflict with the Powers That Be.

- Program Note from Program Notes for Band


The Power of Rome and the Christian Heart was commissioned in 1947 for two reasons: to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the League of Composers, and for the 70th birthday of Edwin Franko Goldman. It is Grainger’s largest work for winds and percussion and calls for an organ to supplement the orchestra. The Power of Rome and the Christian Heart first began in 1918, and completed in 1943 for full symphony orchestra and organ. Faced with the commission and nothing yet on paper, Grainger decided to rescore it for the occasion. Openly admitting what he had done, he explained: “As it takes me about 20 years to finish a tone-work, the best thing I could do was to fix up my Power of Rome so it could be played without strings.” The Power of Rome and the Christian Heart is Percy Grainger’s last original work for band.

The chronological span of the composition includes the end of one world war and the onset of a second. Grainger, a conscientious objector, repeatedly referred to The Power of Rome in these terms. The following two quotes support Grainger’s viewpoints:

“Just as the Early Christians found themselves in conflict with the Power of Ancient Rome so, at all times and places, the Individual Conscience is apt to feel itself threatened or coerced by the Forces of Authority. The sight of young recruits doing bayonet practice, in the First World War, gave the first impulse to this composition, which, however, is not in any sense programme-music and does not portray the drama of actual events. It is merely the unfoldment of musical feelings that were started by thoughts of the eternal agony of the Individual Soul in conflict with The-Powers-That-Be.”

“I think that young men in their teens respond (at least to the foreword of) my Conscientious- Objector piece The Power of Rome and the Christian Heart. But on the whole I think the entire musical world is entirely oblivious of the whole world of bitterness, resentment, iconoclasm and denunciation that lies behind my music. If they were aware of it I am not sure it would make any difference ... And the worth of my music will never be guessed, or its value to mankind felt, until the approach to my music is consciously undertaken as a ‘a pilgrimage of sorrows’.”

- Program Note from the West Texas A&M Wind Ensemble concert program, 11 February 2016

Commercial Discography


Media


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of South Florida (Tampa) Wind Ensemble (John Carmichael, conductor) – 17 November 2019
  • Kennesaw (Ga.) State University Wind Symphony (Debra Traficante, conductor) – 11 March 2019
  • Colorado Wind Ensemble (Denver) (David Kish, conductor) – 11 February 2018
  • Pacific Symphony (Anaheim, Calif.) Youth Wind Ensemble ( Gregory X. Whitmore, conductor) – 12 November 2017
  • Dallas (Tex.) Winds (Jerry Junkin, conductor) – 13 September 2016
  • West Texas A&M University (Canyon) Symphonic Band (Donald Lefevre, conductor) - 11 February 2016 (2016 TMEA Conference, San Antonio)
  • University of Washington Wind Ensemble (Lewis Norfleet, conductor – 5 December 2013


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources