Symphony II (Abigaña)
Subtitle: La Commedia
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
A Piccolo Trumpet
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:
- Bass Drum
- Bell Tree
- Brake Drum
- China Cymbals
- Crash Cymbals
- Mark Tree
- Sizzle Cymbal
- Snare Drum
- Suspended Cymbal
- Temple Blocks
- Tom-Toms (4)
None discovered thus far.
This piece is based on Dante’s epic poem La Commedia, with each of the three movements corresponding to one canticle; as such, a basic knowledge of Dante’s work will no doubt prove most useful in approaching this piece. Rather than invent my own vision of hell, purgatory, and paradise, this piece attempts to musically represent Dante’s vision in three separate ways. The first movement directly represents, or in some cases commits, the sins associated with each of the nine levels of hell. The second movement is meant to be the hymn sung by the faithful as they travel up the mountain towards redemption. The third movement is a musical depiction of the journey through paradise, culminating in meeting the divine. The composers’ names in the score and parts towards the end of the movement correspond to the latter part of Dante’s journey, when he sees the saints on either side of him: I thought it appropriate to imagine which compositional saints I might see, if I were in Dante’s shoes.
- Program Note by composer
Composer Brett Abigaña says the Divine Comedy had a huge effect on him growing up, and this was a piece he'd always wanted to write. Over the summer, he had the opportunity to debut his work in San José, California. To write it, he went back to the source material and read it with a different view towards symbolism and deeper meaning, wanting to avoid the clichés often associated with the work (hellfire and brimstone, choruses of angels, etc.) Instead, he says the focus was on Dante's vision, who wanted the reader to really feel like they were in the places described.
Since Dante's work has been interpreted by many famous composers: Verdi, Mozart, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Abigaña says it was difficult to escape their pull. He sought to bring the work out of the 19th century lens of the macabre and make it meaningful and relevant to today's audience. In this work, he says you'll hear extended techniques that sound difficult to place like moans from the trombone and special sounds in the third movement for Paradise.
- Program Note from WKMS
Commissioned by World Project for the 2015 WASBE International Youth Wind Orchestra.
- Abigaña's Symphony No. 2 has been recommended as interesting, serious and distinctive music by members of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE).
- Audio CD: WASBE International Youth Wind Orchestra - 2015
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Murray (Ky.) State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Dennis Johnson, conductor) - 5 November 2015
- WASBE International Youth Wind Orchestra (José R. Pascual-Vilaplana, conductor) – 18 July 2015 - WASBE Conference, San Jose, Calif. – '*Premiere Performance*'
Works for Winds by This Composer
- As the Wood Smoke Rises (2014)
- Chorale and Blaspheme (2009/2015)
- Daylight Passing (2016)
- Devil's Drive (2017)
- Down the Lonely Path (2014)
- Locrian Riffs (2020)
- Lux Contrapunctum (2016)
- Masque of the Red Death, The (2010)
- Miserere (2008)
- Sketches on Paintings No 2 (2009/2015)
- Soliloquy for Band (2007)
- Symphony No. 1 (2012)
- Symphony No. 2 (2015)
- Abigaña, B. (2015). Symphony no. 2: La commedia [score]. World Projects Corp.: [Benicia, Calif.)
- Carter, A. & M. Markgraf. "(Audio) MSU Symphonic Wind Ensemble 2nd to Perform 'La Commedia' in President's Concert." WKMS, 4 November 2015. Web. Accessed 11 October 2020
- Pease, Andy. "Symphony no. 2 – La Commedia." The Wind Band Symphony Archive. Web. Accessed 11 October 2020