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Floodgates of the Sky, The (flex)

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Josh Trentadue

Josh Trentadue


Subtitle: For 6-Part Adaptable Ensemble


General Info

Year: 2016 / 2021
Duration: c. 5:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: M.O.T.I.F.
Cost: Score and Parts (digital) - $125.00   |   Score Only (digital) - $50.00


Instrumentation (Flexible)

Full Score
Part 1

  • Piccolo
  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • E-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Soprano Saxophone
  • Violin I

Part 2

  • Piccolo
  • Flute
  • Oboe
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • Violin II

Part 3

  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • English Horn
  • E-flat Alto Saxophone
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • Horn in F
  • Violin III

Part 4

  • Bassoon
  • B-flat Soprano Clarinet
  • B-flat Bass Clarinet
  • B-flat Tenor Saxophone
  • B-flat Trumpet
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium
  • Horn in F
  • Viola

Part 5

  • Bassoon
  • B-flat Bass Clarinet
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone
  • Trombone
  • Euphonium
  • Tuba
  • Violincello

Part 6

  • Contrabassoon
  • B-flat Bass Clarinet
  • B-flat Bass Saxophone
  • Bass Trombone
  • Tuba
  • Double Bass

Bass Guitar (optiona)
Piano (optional)
Timpani (optional)
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V (optional), including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Field Drum
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-tam
  • Tom-toms (2)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

The Floodgates of the Sky takes its title from the book of Genesis in the Holy Bible. Specifically, the verse is as follows: "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened" (Genesis 7:11, NASV).

Although I don't consider myself to be a very religious person today, I had spent much of my early childhood years going to church with my family and studying the Scripture. I have always been fascinated with the more epic qualities of the Bible, entranced by its striking imagery juxtaposed with the elements of its serious teachings. For me, it is almost impossible to imagine the wrath unleashed when, at certain points in the Bible, the people go against the word of God and continue to sin. These memories led me back to one well-known story of the Bible, one which ultimately became the foundation for this piece -- Noah's Ark.

Here, I chose to focus on one particular moment of the story. Noah has just completed the ark, with two of each and every animal on board. He and his family have also boarded this vessel, in anticipation of God's intent to flood the earth of every living thing. Although He will protect Noah, his family, and everything else on the ark, the wrath of His oncoming storm is vicious and merciless. Panic, terror, and fear ensues upon the earth as everyone left behind begins to suffer His wrath. Their cries and pleas are ignored by God, who is tired of humanity's inherent wickedness. In the end, after 40 days and 40 nights, He stops the flood and promises that such a storm will never occur again, symbolically represented in the form of a rainbow.

The wrath of this storm, along with the imagination of the sheer savagery behind it, became the emotional foundation for The Floodgates of the Sky. An ostinato drives the storm, accompanied by alarming brass, sweeping woodwind figures, bombastic percussion, and constant rhythmic activity. Emotional moments that appear within the music are even swept away by this incessant, percussive energy.

This work cannot encompass the true horror of this singular moment within the Bible. But perhaps it can capture an inkling of what happens in the story, realizing that after the worst of the flood is over, a promise will be made and all good things will come from it.

- Program Note by composer


About this version:

When I originally wrote this work in 2016, I was captivated by the imagery of this awe-inspiring, horrifying storm presented in the Noah's Ark story. For years, The Floodgates of the Sky had existed only in its orchestral form, my first major work for the medium. In 2020, I was thrilled to see this piece transformed through a brilliant transcription created for wind ensemble by composer Harrison J. Collins. Now, this music undergoes another transformation in this arrangement for 6-part adaptable ensemble.

The heart and spirit of both the original orchestral version and Harrison's wind ensemble transcription are combined into this new arrangement. Parts from both of these versions remain largely the same wherever possible. Other sections have been reworked where needed so that this version of the piece is suitable for practically any performance situation. I am delighted to present this new version of The Floodgates of the Sky for adaptable ensemble.

- Program Note by composer


Performance Notes

The suggested instrumentation list is divided into the six parts each of these instruments has been assigned. Any combination of instruments can be used at the conductor's discretion to perform this work, as along as they each fulfull the six different parts. Experimentation with the piece's orchestration is highly recommended. Use what available resources the conductor has and get creative with color and texture.


Commercial Discography

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Adaptable Music


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