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Quaternity

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Bruce Broughton

Bruce Broughton


General Info

Year: 2019
Duration:
Difficulty: VII (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Brubel Music
Cost: Score and Parts (digital) - $300.00   |   Solo part and piano reductions; (digital) - $30.00


Movements

1. Earth
2. Air
3. Fire
4. Water


Instrumentation

Full Score
Solo Trombone
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Contra-Bassoon
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra Alto Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Piano
Harp
Timpani
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Anvil
  • Bongos
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Piccolo Snare Drum
  • Ratchet
  • Sizzle Cymbal
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tom-Toms (4)
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Quaternity is a four-movement concerto for trombone and band. A quaternity is simply a group of four, but a group that represents wholeness. This particular quaternity is one that represents the classical elements of antiquity: earth, air, fire and water, with musical connections that are often subjective.

I. Earth: The piece begins with a statement by the trombone which is repeated through all of the subsequent movements. The theme is somewhat imposing and serious. Earth, after all, is where life begins, takes place and ends; it is the literal ground. This theme, which is often used as a sort of leitmotif, represents the connective unity of the whole. The movement quickly gives way to a lighter theme, as a sort of reminder that along with the many other physical elements that the earth contains, there are also emotional elements, such as happiness and joy.

II. Air: This movement refers initially to the silence, omnipresence and transformations of air, the literal breath of life. Much of the movement is somewhat austere in its stillness. Musically, the trombone plays a theme over a modified chaconne, a set of harmonic variations. The solo theme is phrased freely independent of the structured accompaniment and soon is joined by a saxophone in a free duet. The placid air is eventually modified as wind and storm.

III. Fire: The element of fire is characterized by quickness, changeability and surprise. It is capable of warmth and terror, comfort and destruction. The trombone is muted throughout much of this movement, creating a sense of anxiety and distraction.

IV. Water: The final piece begins with a moving figure that gradually gets faster and more intense. Over this movement appears a strong theme from the trombone which alternates with the Quaternity theme from the beginning. One of the characteristics of water is that its flow is unstoppable and it gathers itself as it moves, growing from a streamlet to a river, carving the ground as it creates its own path. This particular musical stream grows to an eventual slowing down that leads to a quick conclusive coda. The opening leitmotif ends the piece.

- Program Note from score


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) Wind Ensemble (Thomas Caneva, conductor; Joe Alessi, trombone) - 20 March 2020
  • University of Georgia (Athens) Hodgson Wind Ensemble (Cynthia Johnston Turner, conductor; Joe Alessi, trombone) – 17 November 2019
  • Las Vegas (Nev.) Academy High School Wind Ensemble (Brian Downey, conductor; Joe Alessi, Trombone) 13 November 2019
  • Eastern Wind Symphony (Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) (Todd Nichols, conductor; Joe Alessi, trombone)– 26 April 2019
  • United States Air Force Band (Washington, D.C.) (Jay Gephart, conductor; James Layfield, trombone) - 8 March 2019 (84th Annual ABA National Convention)
  • University of Nevada Las Vegas Wind Symphony (Thomas Leslie, conductor; Joe Alessi, trombone) – 28 February 2019 *Premiere Performance*


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources