Subtitle: An Impression for Concert Band
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass 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
(percussion detail desired)
None discovered thus far.
Arches is a descriptive single-movement work. The title is double-edged: on one side, the music depicts the peaceful and airy grandeur of Arches National Park, in Utah. On the other side, the musical structure can be considered an "arch-within-an-arch". The musical arch form, as defined by Bartók and employed by many subsequent (and a few earlier) composers, is one in which the materials are presented in sequence; then repeated, in reverse (A-B-C-B-A).
This work states a simple, slow six-note melody several times at the outset, in clarinets and resonating instruments. The textures are hazy, somewhat vague (as the park's arches look in dense fog, or very early in the morning). Several different rock formations are seen, with a solitary bird piping as it flies in and out of the openings in the rock. A faster section heralds more substantial arches and natural bridges, with brass and percussion illuminating them at the height of the sun. A climax is reached, the opening material begins again -- but rather than a restatement, the six-note theme is transformed into a broad, fluid melody, with all the other "arches" from earlier music providing a lush contrapuntal and harmonic support. The sun sets, the mists return, and the work closes quietly, just as it opened.
Arches was written in 1984, begun during and completed following a camping trip to Arches National Park. It forms the beginning of an ongoing series of "Places in the West" pieces for wind ensemble, which also includes The Yellowstone Fires, Zion and Glacier.
- Program Note by publisher
- Audio CD: [University of Texas Wind Ensemble (Jerry Junkin, conductor)] 2014
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Gettysburg (Penn.) College Wind Symphony (Russell McCutcheon, conductor) – 23 November 2019
Works for Winds by this Composer
- Arches (1985)
- Castle Creek (1989/2009)
- Downshifting (2014)
- For the Mystic Harmony (2017)
- Glacier (2003)
- Hauntings (1986)
- Perpetual Song (2008)
- Songs Without Words (2001/2007)
- Spumante (1998/1999)
- Symphony No. 3, "Shaker Life" (1997)
- Symphony No. 4, "American Visionary" (2005)
- Symphony No. 6, "Three Places in the East" (2017)
- Minstrels of the Kells (2002)
- Upriver (2011)
- The Yellowstone Fires (1998)
- Zion (1994)
- Dan Welcher website Accessed 23 November 2019
- Welcher, D. (1986). Arches: An Impression for Concert Band [score]. Theodore Presser: [King of Prussia, Penn.].