Bells for Stokowski
Michael Daugherty (transcribed by the composer)
Piccolo (doubles Flute IV)
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
Bb Bass Clarinet
Horns in F I-II-III-IV
Trumpet (in Bb or C) I-II-III-IV
String Bass (2)
Percussion (4 players), including:
- Bass Drum, large
- Bell Plate, small and medium
- Bell Tree
- Crash Cymbals, medium and large
- Crotales (2)
- Mark Tree
- Sleigh Bells, large
- Tam-Tam, medium and large
None discovered thus far.
Bells for Stokowski was commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra and musical director Wolfgang Sawallisch in celebration of their centennial. It was commissioned with help from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Philadelphia Music Project (funded by Pew Charitable Trusts). It was given its world premiere by the Philadelphia Orchestra, David Zinman conducting, at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia on 15 November 2001. “Bells” is originally the third movement of Philadelphia Stories, Daugherty’s third symphony. The other two movements are Sundown on South Street and Tell-Tale Harp. Each of the movements can be performed independently.
At the behest of a consortium of commissioners which included the University of Michigan (Michael Haithcock), Arizona State University (Gary Hill), Baylor University (Kevin Sedatole), the University of Colorado (Allan McMurray), Ithaca College (Steve Peterson), Louisiana State University (Frank Wickes), Michigan State University (John Whitwell), Riverside Community College (Kevin Mayse), the University of Tennessee (Gary Sousa), the University of Texas (Jerry Junkin), Texas Tech University (J. Cody Birdwell), and the University of Washington (Tim Salzman), Daugherty transcribed the work for symphonic band.
Bells for Stokowski is a tribute to one of the most influential and controversial conductors of the 20th century. Born in London, Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977) began his career as an organist. Moving to America, Stokowski was fired from his organ post at St. Bartholomew's Church in New York in 1908, after he concluded a service with Stars and Stripes Forever. As maestro of the Philadelphia Orchestra (1912-36) he became known for his brilliant interpretations of classical music, his enthusiasm for new concert music, and for taking risks by constantly pushing the envelope of what was acceptable in the concert hall.
In Bells for Stokowski I imagine Stokowski in Philadelphia visiting the Liberty Bell at sunrise, and listening to all the bells of the city resonate.
To create various bell effects, I frame the ensemble with two percussionists positioned stereophonically on the stage performing on identical ringing percussion instruments such as tubular bells, crotales, bell trees, and various non-pitched metals. I also echo Stokowski's musical vision and legacy in order to look to the past and the future of American orchestral concert music. To represent the past I've composed an original theme in the style of Bach. Midway in the composition, there is also brief fantasy where we hear a Daugherty orchestral transcription of a portion of Bach's C Major Prelude from The Well Tempered Klavier introduced by two stereophonic harps. To represent the future I take my original theme composed in the style of Bach and process it through my own musical language in a series of tonal and atonal variations. During the variations I employ complex musical canons, polyrhythms, counterpoints, and move at will between various musical idioms, resonating Stokowski's enthusiasm for music of all styles and cultures. In the last chords of Bells for Stokowski we hear the final echoes of a long legacy of great orchestral performances in Philadelphia at the Academy of Music.
- Program Note by Nikk Pilato
- Audio CD: North Texas Wind Symphony (Eugene Corporon, conductor)
- Audio CD: University of Texas Wind Ensemble (Jerry Junkin, conductor)
- Audio CD: University of Michigan Symphony Band (Michael Haithcock, conductor)
- Audio CD: Columbus State University Wind Ensemble (Robert Rumbelow, conductor)
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- University of South Florida (Tampa) Symphonic Band (John Carmichael, conductor) – 25 February 2020
- Central Washington University (Ellensburg) Wind Ensemble (Lewis Norfleet, conductor) – 14 February 2020 (2020 WMEA Conference)
- University of Northern Colorado (Greeley) Wind Ensemble (Wesley J. Broadnax, conductor) – 13 February 2020
- McGill University (Montreal, Que.) Wind Orchestra (Alain Cazes, conductor) – 1 November 2019
- University of North Texas (Denton) Wind Orchestra (Andrew Trachsel, conductor) – 31 October 2019
- Ithaca (N.Y.) College Wind Ensemble (Christopher Hughes, conductor) – 15 October 2019
- California State University, Fullerton, Wind Symphony (Dustin Barr, conductor) – 6 October 2019
- University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Symphony Band (Michael Haithcock, conductor) – 27 September
- University of Kansas (Lawrence) Wind Ensemble (Brett Keating, conductor) – 30 April 2019
- James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.) Wind Symphony (Stephen Bolstad, conductor) – 23 February 2019
- Oklahoma State University (Stillwater) Wind Ensemble (Joseph Missal, conductor) – 12 February 2019
- Kennesaw (Ga.) State University Wind Ensemble (David T. Kehler, conductor) – 7 February 2019
- Charles River Wind Ensemble (Boston, Mass.) (Matthew M. Marsit, conductor) – 18 November 2018
- Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (Rodney C. Dorsey, conductor) – 13 November 2018
- University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Symphony (Stephen G. Peterson, conductor) – 4 November 2018
- University of Nebraska (Lincoln) Wind Ensemble (Christopher Brandt, conductor) – 7 March 2018
- University of Missouri, Kansas City, Wind Ensemble (Joseph Parisi, conductor) – 5 March 2018
- University of Maryland (College Park) Wind Ensemble (Michael Votta, conductor) – 2 March 2018
- University of Oklahoma (Norman) Symphony Band (Brian A. Britt, conductor) – 26 February 2018
- Diamond Bar (Calif.) High School Wind Ensemble (Steven Acciani, conductor) – 23 February 2018
Works for Winds by this Composer
- Asclepius (2007)
- Alligator Alley (2003)
- Bells for Stokowski (2002)
- Bizarro (1993)
- Brooklyn Bridge (2005)
- Dead Elvis (1999)
- Desi (1991)
- Labyrinth of Love (2012)
- Ladder to the Moon (2005)
- Lost Vegas (2011)
- Motown Metal (1994)
- Niagara Falls (1997)
- Of War and Peace (2017)
- On the Air (2012)
- Raise the Roof (2007)
- Red Cape Tango (tr. Spede) (1993/1999)
- Reflections on the Mississippi for Tuba and Band (2013)
- Rio Grande (2015)
- Rosa Parks Boulevard (2001)
- Songs from a Silent Land (2019)
- UFO (2000)
- Vulcan (2014)
- Winter Dreams (2015)
- Lourens, Alan. Bells for Stokowski. MBM Times, Issue 6 (2012), 73.
- McCutchan, Ann. (1999). The muse that sings: composers speak about the creative process. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Scott, Judson. (2003). "Michael Daugherty" from A Composer's Insight, Volume One." Galesville, MD: Meredith Music.