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Across the Divide

From Wind Repertory Project
Larry Tuttle

Larry Tuttle


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General Info

Year: 2018
Duration: 3:00
Difficulty: IV+ (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Personal Sun Music
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


Instrumentation

(Needed, please join the WRP if you can help.)


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Tuttle’s Across the Divide is unabashed in its celebration of the musical influence of Aaron Copland. From the outset, with peppy syncopations on open quintal harmonies supporting rollicking sixteenth-note melodies, a comparison to the great ballets Rodeo and Billy the Kid seems inevitable, if only through our own inlaid associations of Copland’s style with the scenery of the American West.

Across the Divide is an adaptation of Tuttle’s award-winning orchestral composition Chorale and Fiddle Tune, and in that title, the inspiration for the opening melody comes into full focus as a rendering of classic old-time fiddle music. This type of tune, with its dance-like character, owes its tradition to European folk music traditions like the reel or jig. Tuttle’s tune is a scant two measures long, but those two measures are infused with an infectious joyfulness that makes each repetition more playful than the last.

This tune establishes itself in a melodic ostinato as variations cycle underneath, primarily in eight-measure phrases. These variations provide the contrast and, over time, elongate into a beautiful legato chorale (the other half of the title for the work’s orchestral cousin). At the turning point of the work, the fiddle tune comes to a placid resting place as elements of the chorale continue, foreshadowing a quiet and reflective ending. Not satisfied to be undone, however, the fiddle tune winds itself back up in small fragments at the coda, whipping the piece into one last flourish of Americana.

- Program Note from Baylor University Wind Ensemble concert program, 5 February 2018


Across the Divide was written on a commission from the University of Southern California, H. Robert Reynolds, and a consortium of university wind ensembles. It is a wind arrangement of an orchestral piece called Chorale and Fiddle Tune. Chorale and Fiddle Tune was my first orchestral work. It was the winner of the Pittsburgh Symphony’s 2014 H.J. Heinz Company Audience of the Future Composition Competition.

The original orchestral version consisted of a slow and mysterious opening section (the chorale) and a fiery second section (the fiddle tune). Bob Reynolds’s idea for the wind ensemble version was to skip the opening slow section completely and make the piece into a lively concert opener. I think it works great that way.

The piece starts right out of the gate with the main melody, followed by several spunky and aggressive variations. The energy and the orchestration keep growing and building with each variation, leading eventually to the climactic moment, the moment that I was really pointing for when I conceived the piece. The melody and the chorale play simultaneously, with the slow-moving chorale in the brass and the faster fiddle tune (now more of a pipe tune) moving up in the register to the flutes and soaring over the top. A brief and reflective slow section follows, and then an up-tempo and quirky coda pops up by surprise and leads to the conclusion.

- Program Note by composer

Awards

  • The American Prize in Composition—Band/Wind Ensemble (professional division), 2018-19, third place


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

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  • State University of New York, Potsdam, Crane Wind Ensemble (H. Robert Reynolds, conductor) – 26 April 2019
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison Wind Ensemble (Scott Teeple, conductor) – 17 February 2019
  • University of Nebraska (Lincoln) Wind Ensemble (Carolyn Barber, conductor) – 5 December 2018
  • University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Symphonic Band (J. Benjamin Jones, conductor) – 4 October 2018
  • Californa State University, Northridge, Wind Ensemble (Lawrence Stoffel, conductor) – 3 May 2018
  • Baylor University (Waco, Tx.) Wind Symphony (Darrin Davis, conductor) - 9 March 2018 (83rd Annual ABA National Convention)
  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Symphony Band (Michael Haithcock, conductor) – 9 March 2018
  • Baylor University (Waco, Texas) Wind Ensemble (Eric Wilson, conductor) – 1 March 2018
  • University of Southern California Thornton Wind Ensemble (H. Robert Reynolds, conductor) - 9 February 2018


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources