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Astrarium

From Wind Repertory Project
Peter Van Zandt Lane

Peter Van Zandt Lane


General Info

Year: 2015
Duration: c. 5:20
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Peter Van Zandt Lane
Cost: Score and Parts - $250.00   |   Score Only - $50.00


Instrumentation

Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
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
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Timpani
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Cymbals (crash, suspended)
  • Snare Drum
  • Temple Blocks
  • Tam Tam
  • Tom-Toms (3)
  • Tubular Bells (Chimes)
  • Xylophone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

I think of this piece as a fantasy, with a very short, heroic brass fanfare wedged in the center of a larger, more ornamented musical frame. I began sketches for Astrarium in June 2014 while on a residency at MacDowell Colony, an arts colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire. In the studios at MacDowell, it has become customary for artists to sign their names on planks of wood, keeping a log of each studio’s history of visiting artists. Coincidentally, I came across Joseph Schwantner’s name in my studio, dated 1978, and discovered that he had composed a song cycle in the same room more than 35 years earlier. I couldn’t help but use a small quote from his piece in mine; thus, the opening vocal phrase of Schwantner’s cycle Wild Angels of the Open Hills makes a subtle appearance as an oboe solo in Astrarium, and is later used as the subject for a fugue section just after the fanfare.

The title refers to a complex astronomical clock invented by Giovanni de’ Dondi in the 14th century, one of the earliest contraptions resembling mechanisms of modern clocks. The more I thought about connecting my own musical ideas to an earlier time and place –- perhaps to Schwantner three-and-a-half decades ago, or to myself playing bassoon in Nikk Pilato’s wind ensemble as a freshman in high school -– the more the sonic imagery of clockwork became central to the piece.

Astrarium was composed for the Emory University Wind Ensemble, at the request of my friend and former teacher, Nikk Pilato. The piece was commissioned as a concert opener for the premiere of Joseph Schwantner’s Concerto for Wind Orchestra.

- Program Note by composer


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

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Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources