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Brave New World

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Shawn Lee

Shawn Lee


General Info

Year: 2020
Duration: c. 18:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Crusis Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $300.00; each movement purchased separately - $125.00


Movements

1. Rhapsody
2. Interlude
3. Toccata


Instrumentation (Flexible)

Full Score
Part 1

  • C Instruments
  • B-flat Instruments

Part 2

  • B-flat Instruments
  • E-flat Instruments

Part 3

  • B-flat Instruments
  • E-flat Instruments
  • F Instruments

Part 4

  • C Instruments
  • B-flat Instruments
  • F Instruments

Part 5

  • C Instruments
  • B-flat Instruments
  • E-flat Instruments

Percussion (2-3 players), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbal
  • Glockenspiel
  • Ride Cymbal
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Wood Block


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

The phrase "Brave New World" has a number of different meanings; whether it be referring (often ironically) to a new or hopeful period in history resulting from major societal changes, or a society that is unkind and lacking in creativity, where people are completely reliant on technology and no longer care for each other. In the case of this work, the title is in reference to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the field of classical music and our globalized society as a whole; the circumstances created by said pandemic have forced several industries to get creative in order to survive. The world of classical music has not been spared from this; many organizations, both academic and professional, have resorted to either smaller ensembles and/or virtual performances.

Written with the possibility of said virtual performances (or restrictions on space in a live setting) in mind, this work is written with the minimal use of large percussion instruments, with the only large instrument being the bass drum. This work can be performed with as few as 12 players; at least one woodwind and one brasswind for each part, and at least two percussionists.

I. – Rhapsody. The episodic opening movement depicts the upheaval of our previous normal as the pandemic spreads around the world. Written to be frantic with a few key moments of repose, intense woodwind passages and powerful statements from the brass, along with a constantly shifting tonal center, paint a vivid picture of the chaos that comes with a period of such unrest. The movement is capped off with a brief glimmer of hope that the pandemic will quickly subside and allow life to return to the old normal.

II. – Interlude. In stark contrast to the first movement, this lyrical second movement paints a picture of calm following the wild, even reckless, abandon of the first movement. Lyrical melodies juxtaposed with extended harmonies and unique chord progressions depict several moods we would have experienced as the world is forced into lockdown to combat the pandemic; however, a stormy agitato section foreshadows the long game that we are truly in for in waiting out this pandemic.

III. – Toccata. The chaotic final movement captures the chaos that ensues as world governments struggle to contain the pandemic. Although there are brief moments where the movement lets off in intensity, it is really designed to "shout" most of the way through, with constantly driving, frenzied 16th-note motives from the woodwinds pushing the last few minutes of the work forward. The work ends with a final open fifth and a loud solo from the bass drum, representing our society's acceptance that the world will never be the same as it once was.

- Program Note by composer


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


Media Links


State Ratings

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Performances

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Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music


All Wind Works


Resources