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Annunciations

From Wind Repertory Project
Einojuhani Rautavaara

Einojuhani Rautavaara


General Info

Year: 1977
Duration: c. 27:30
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Edition Fazer, distributed by Boosey & Hawkes
Cost: Unknown


Instrumentation

Solo Organ
Solo Brass Quintet (2 Trumpets in C, Horn, Trombone, and Tuba)
Flutes I-II
Piccolo
Oboe I-II
En Soprano Clarinet
Bb or A Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV-V-VI
Bb Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Bassoon I-II(Contra)
Piccolo Trumpet
C Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium
Tuba
Contrabass I-II

Percussion, including:

  • Flexaton
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong (high and low)
  • Guero
  • Maracas
  • Tam-tam
  • Timpani
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

The composer writes of the work:

Annunciations was written during 1976-77 in response to a commission from the Stockholm Organ Festival. The triple forces required by the instrumentation were proposed by the commissioning organization. The coupling of a symphonic wind band with its acoustical twin, the organ, leads to a superimposition of two similar timbral spectra which permitted me to create rather exciting worlds.

Behind this work stands a powerful personal vision, strictly musical in nature. This said, it is possible for listeners to experience visual images when listening to this music, and its unbroken arc of half an hour’s duration has a narrative feel to it.

The introduction is slow and exploratory, like the creation of the world. In a way it lays out various symmetrical structures which invite further development. Fast passages in the organ trigger off a “domino” form in which various sections follow one another in succession, laid end to end as it were. A dense “forest of birds” is followed by a cantabile canon, which in turn culminates in a boisterous scherzo. After another cantabile passage the music quietens and a long, slow climb begins which eventually leads to the climax of the whole work. At this point the organ motor is switched off, leaving the notes of a dense chord swimming around in the hall and individually dying out over shorter or longer periods, depending on the acoustic, A swiftly moving finale then spurs on the work’s “annunciations” to a furious conclusion. One critic, commenting on this finale, once remarked that it reminded him of a Pasolini movie in which “drunken aristocrats writhe over the organ keys.” I rather liked this analogy.

The piece is almost a half-hour in duration, starting and ending on a minor second. This interval is the basis for a lot of material. The organ has many aleatoric passages through out the piece and these often occur over the winds playing in a chorale like style. His Orthodox research is reflected in the use of trombone glissandi and the flexaton as well as in the many chorale passages.


Commercial Discography


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Recent Performances

  • Oberlin Wind Ensemble (Timothy Weiss, conductor) – April 16, 2004


Works for Winds by this Composer


Additional Resources

  • Rautavaara, E. (1995). On a Taste for the Infinite. Contemporary Music Review. 12-2, 109-115.