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De Profundis

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Jonathan Newman

Jonathan Newman

General Info

Year: 2009
Duration: c. 9:05
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: OK Feel Good Music
Cost: Parts (Rental) - $300.00   |   Score Only (Purchase) - $34.00


Full Score
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet (optional)
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
Contrabass (optional)
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V-VI, including:

  • Bass Drums (2)
  • Crotales
  • Glockenspiel
  • Large Tam-tam
  • Marimba
  • Roto-toms (3)
  • Suspended Triangles (different sizes) (2)
  • Timpani (high) (2)
  • Timpani (low) (2)
  • Tom-toms (4)
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

I've respectfully borrowed the term massed winds from the 1932 masterwork Angels And Devils ("for massed flutes") by the great Henry Brant, but the title itself is from Psalm 130 (de profundis clamavi ad te Domine), a Penitential psalm sometimes incorporated into the Latin Requiem, and set to music by composers for hundreds of years. Commissioned by the Central Oklahoma Directors Association—for an ensemble of some 110 souls—the work is designed to use the largest (massed) ensemble possible to its greatest possible effect.

The medieval de profundis plainchant incipit, a gorgeous modal tune lamenting "Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD" winds its way throughout the work, transforming from lyrical chanting to the core of angry chorales. For much of the work the percussion consists mostly of different kinds of drums (2 bass drums, 2 sets of detuned timpani, 4 tom-toms, and 3 roto-toms). The drums lead a sound-world of ritualism, which the ensemble often realizes from aleatoric notation: improvisatory gestures played at the discretion of the players. Like a classic chiaroscuro, these aleatoric textures shift us between the worlds of darkness and light.

-Program Notes by Jonathan Newman



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