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Auguries of Innocence

From Wind Repertory Project
William Pitts

William Pitts


General Info

Year: 2014
Duration: c. 12:45
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: William Pitts Music Inc
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $225.00   |   Score Only (print) - $75.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
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
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium I-II
Tuba I-II
String Bass
Piano
Celesta
Timpani
Percussion I-VII, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Chimes
  • China Cymbals
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crystal Glasses
  • Gong
  • Marimba
  • Ratchet
  • Slapstick
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Swish Knocker Cymbals
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

When I was asked to write a piece in honor of one of the legends in our field, the task was immediately more daunting than any other so far in my career as a composer. Eugene Migliaro Corporon is a name that I read on the CD covers of some of my favorite recordings, dating back to my earliest days in school band programs. He has been a part of the development of some of the best educators and performers throughout the country, and to say that I am honored to write a piece recognizing his commitment and impact on music would be an incredible understatement.

Auguries of Innocence takes its name from that of one of my favorite poems of the great William Blake. Blake offers the idea that the natural world can be regenerated in time and that nature itself can be an augury, or omen, to the lost vision of innocence. The poem is filled with randomly organized couplets of paradoxical imagery, all focused on the idea that it is wise to see the world through two eyes rather than one. Innocence is juxtaposed with evil, big with small, long with short. In my opinion, the most powerful words, and those that most motivated my decision to honor Blake's work with my title, come from the opening stanza:

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour.

My musical interpretation uses the idea of these paradoxes to create numerous competing elements presented in various instrument groups, textures, tempos, tonalities, etc. The most notable dichotomy is the use of one of my favorite chorale figures, happily borrowed from Chopin's Scherzo in C# minor. The chorale is first presented in major from the woodwinds, only to be immediately usurped by the minor tonality and contrasting rhythm from the low brass. From here, the rest of the piece presents numerous musical paradoxes and opposing forces: conflicting rhythms, contrasting timbres, contrary motion, etc. I even attempt to honor Professor Corporon with the use of a Morse code figure found in the mallet percussion (EMC, or . -- -.-.).

The piece does not follow the poem in any specific way, but rather seeks to present what I believe is one of the most important messages of Blake’s work: there are numerous ways to interpret a single idea, or to form our opinions of a concept, whether it be musical or otherwise. However, what we may deem as unsavory or less satisfying may, in turn, be most satisfying to another.

- Program Note by composer


For Eugene Migliaro Corporon in honor of his twenty years of service to the University of North Texas.

- Program Note from score


Commercial Discography


Media


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources

  • Perusal score
  • Prendergast, Curran. "Auguries of Innocence." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 706-713. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.