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End of the World, The

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Michael Schelle

Michael Schelle

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General Info

Year: 2011
Duration: c. 13:40
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Michael Schelle
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


1. The Exhausted Sun – 5:35
2. Bullet Train to Hell – 2:50
3. After Afterlife – 5:15


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Written during the blistering, record-breaking heat wave of summer 2011, The End of the World was inspired, in some part, by the notorious cataclysmic end-of-the-world prophecy of Nostradamus (scheduled for late December 2012) and the Mayan calendar’s end-of-time prediction (also, according to some, on the immediate horizon). The primary source of inspiration, however, was the great earthquake and tsunami that leveled much of northern Japan in March 2011. My original plan was for a “serious” Nostradamus-related piece, but fate interceded: As I began work on the music in spring 2011, I was heartbroken by the fear, disbelief and sadness on the face of my Japanese wife, composer/pianist Miho Sasaki, as she sat paralyzed by her emotions, watching televised images of her homeland’s devastation. So my piece took its shape and inspiration from this disaster.

At the end of the day (or the end of the world), doomsday predictions are ephemeral, but Japan’s 3/11/11 cataclysm will have a profound international impact on generations to come. Besides, as I spoke with one of the consortium directors about my Nostradamus vs. Japan dilemma, it dawned on me that both subjects might very likely produce a similar score -- so I chose to just embrace it all and seek the optimistic “substance after shadows” (Shinto prayer) for resolution.

As old Nostradamus's predictions have come and gone without incident, and the Japanese people have (once again) picked themselves up from the ashes and resiliently moved on, now my piece may take on more universal considerations: perhaps reflecting on each listener’s personal experience(s) with the loss of important persons, places, or things.

The End of the World is a commission from a consortium group of 35 university and professional symphonic bands / wind ensembles from across the U.S. and abroad. In December 2012, selected from over 80 international entries, The End of the World was awarded the 2012 National Band Association "William D. Revelli Composition Prize".

- Program Note by composer


  • National Band Association/William D. Revelli Composition Prize, 2012, winner


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer