Subtitle: Symphonic Poem for Band
1. Oratorio - 7:25
2. Cantus - 4:45
3. Dies Festus - 6:05
Ryuteki (2nd movement only)
Piccolo (also doubles as Ryuteki flute)
Flute I-II (flute II also doubles as piccolo or Ryuteki flute)
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet (in Bb) I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion I–II-III, including:
- Bass Drum
- Sleigh Bells
- Snare Drum
- Suspended Cymbal
- Tom-toms (3)
- Players singing
None discovered thus far.
In the beginning of the Edo era (1603~1867) of Japan, the original melodies of many chants that Kirishitan (Christians) had sung were getting distorted, and their texts were also corrupted as the Tokugawa Shogunate Government banned Christianity. For example, the Latin word "gloriosa" changed to "gururiyoza."
The first movement, Oratorio, is composed on the theme of a Gregorian chant and consists of 13 variations in the form of a chaconne. The second movement, Cantus, is based on the Chant of Saint Juan which had been sung by the Kirishitan, and Dies Festus, the third movement, is based on a transformed melody of the folksong Nagasaki Bura-Bura Bushi.
This piece, commissioned by The Sasebo Band of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (Nagasaki prefecture), was written in 1990.
- Program Note by Yasuhide Ito
Gloriosa is a symphonic poem for band in three song-like movements: Oratio, Cantus and Dies Festus. This stirring and powerful homage to early Christianity in Japan during the Edo Period profoundly and eloquently states the case of cross-cultural conflict and resolution. Roman Catholic missionary Francisco Xavier introduced Christianity in the southern region of Kyushu during the 1550s; subsequently a variety of Western music arrived in Japan as well. The piece is inspired by the songs of the Kakure-Kirishitan (Crypto-Christians) of Kyushu who continued to practice their faith secretly by disguising songs so that Gregorian-like melodies and lyrics were “Japanized.” For example, the Latin word “Gloriosa” was changed to “Gururiyoza.” This adaptation of liturgy for survival inspired Ito to write a fusion of Gregorian chant and Japanese folk music to display the most sophisticated counterpoint yet found in any Japanese composition for wind orchestra. The composer states,
“Nagasaki district in Kyushu region continued to accept foreign culture even during the seclusion period, as Japan’s only window to the outer world. After the proscription of Christianity, the faith was preserved and handed down in secret in the Nagasaki and Shimabara areas of Kyushu region. My interest was piqued by the way in which the Latin words of Gregorian chants were gradually ‘Japanized’ during the 200 years of hidden practice of the Christian faith. That music forms the basis of Gloriosa. The Gregorian chant Gloriosa begins with the words ‘O gloriosa domina excelsa super sidera que te creavit provide lactasti sacro ubere.’ The first movement, Oratio, opens with bells sounding the hymn’s initial phrases. The movement as a whole evokes the fervent prayers and suffering of the Crypto-Christians. The second movement, Cantus, showcases a brilliant blend of Gregorian chant and Japanese elements by opening with a solo passage for the ryuteki, a type of flute. The theme is based on San Juan-sama no Uta (The Song of Saint John), a 17th-century song commemorating the Great Martyrdom of Nagasaki where a number of Kyushu Christians were killed in 1622. The third and final movement, Dies Festus, takes as its theme the Nagasaki folk song Nagasaki Bura Bura Bushi.
- Program Notes by Jennifer Daffinee for the 2016 Texas All-State Concert Band concert program, 13 February 2016
I. Oratio. The Gregorian chant Gloriosa begins with the words, “O gloriosa Domina excelsa super sidera que te creavit provide lactasti sacro ubere.” The first movement, Oratio, opens with bells sounding the hymn’s initial phrases. The movement as a whole evokes the fervent prayers and suffering of the Crypto-Christians.
II. Cantus. The second movement, Cantus, showcases a brilliant blend of Gregorian chant and Japanese elements by opening with a solo passage for the ryuteki, a type of flute. The theme is based on San Juan-sama no Uta (The Song of Saint John), a 17th-century song commemorating the “Great Martyrdom of Nagasaki” where a number of Kyushu Christians were killed in 1622.
II. Dies Festus. The third and final movement, Dies Festus, takes as its theme the Nagasaki folk song Nagasaki Bura Bura Bushi, where many Crypto-Christians lived.
Gloriosa, fusing Gregorian chant and Japanese folk music, displays the most sophisticated counterpoint yet found in any Japanese composition for wind orchestra.
- Program Note from State University of New York, Potsdam, Symphonic Band concert program, 13 April 2017
- Audio CD: North Texas Wind Symphony (Eugene Corporon, conductor).
- Audio CD: 'The President's Own' United States Marine Band (Colonel Jason K. Fettig , conductor) 3rd Mov. only (in Japanese)
- Alabama: Class AA
- Louisiana: V
- Minnesota - Category I
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- Marquette University (Milwaukee, Wisc.) Wind Ensemble (Erik N. Janners, conductor) – 23 February 2020
- Valdosta (Ga.) State University Wind Ensemble (Benjamin Harper, conductor)– 18 February 2020
- Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) Symphonic Band (Shawn Vondran, conductor) - 7 February 2020
- Emory University (Druid Hills, Ga.) Wind Ensemble (Tyler Ehrlich, conductor) – 23 November 2019
- Boston (Mass.) Conservatory Wind Ensemble (Matthew Marsit, conductor) – 17 October 2019
- University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) Wind Symphony (Ben Lorenzo, conductor) – 16 October 2019
- Foothill Symphonic Winds (Palo Alto, Calif.) (Roy Stahle, conductor) – 9 June 2019
- United States Marine Band (Washington, D.C.) (Jason K. Fettig, conductor) – 17 May 2019 (Hamamatsu, Japan)
- West Chester University (Penn.) Wind Ensemble (Andrew Yozviak, conductor) – 31 March 2019
- Arkansas Tech University (Russellville) Symphonic Band (Jim Daughters, conductor) – 7 March 2019
- University of Miami (Coral Gables) Frost Symphonic Winds (Steven Moore, conductor) – 29 November 2018
- Ohio State University (Columbus) Symphonic Band (Scott Jones, conductor) – 14 November 2018
- Pacific Lutheran University (Parkland, Wash.) Wind Ensemble (Edwin Powell, conductor) – 14 October 2018
- Wheaton College (Wheaton, Ill.) Symphonic Band (Timothy Yontz, conductor) – 14 April 2018
- Orange County High School for the Arts (Santa Ana, Calif.) Frederick Fennell Wind Ensemble (Anthony Mazzaferro, conductor) – 23 February 2018
- VanderCook College of Music (Chicago) Symphonic Band (Adam Williamson, conductor) - 22 December 2017 (2017 Midwest Clinic)
- University of Oklahoma (Norman) Symphony Band (Michael E. Hancock, conductor) – 24 April 2017
- University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Orchestra (Beth Peterson, conductor) – 28 April 2017
- State University of New York, Potsdam, Symphonic Band (Brian K. Doyle, conductor) – 13 April 2017
- Michigan State University (East Lansing) Symphony Band (John T. Madden, conductor) – 2 February 2017
- Lynn Conservatory of Music (Boca Raton, Fla.) Wind Ensemble (Kenneth Amis, conductor) – 15 September 2012
Works for Winds by this Composer
- Adagio for Band
- A la Suite Classique (1996)
- As Time Is Passing On (2000)
- Choral Fantasy
- Cioccolata d'amore
- Concertino for piano and band (Ito)
- Evocation (Ito)
- Fanfares for National Athletic Meet at Fukushima
- Fantasia Classica
- Fantasy Variations (Ito) (2004/2012)
- Festal Ballade for Band (2016)
- Festal Scenes (1986)
- Festeggiamo e Cantiamo, Musica Festiva per Banda
- Funa-Uta (1993/1999)
- Gloriosa ("Gururiyoza") (1990)
- Go For Broke
- Hamamatsu Overture
- Hanyang Forever! (2010)
- Kokiriko alla Marcia
- La Vita (1998)
- Liturgia Sinfonica
- Maiko Spring March
- March 'fuji no Yama'
- March 'Over the Century'
- March 'Over the Wind'
- March 'The Three Tops Hill'
- March, Wind & Sun
- Meguru Kisetsu ni
- Melodies for Wind Ensemble
- Morning Songs in Hiroshima (2009)
- On the March (1978/1991)
- Pacem et gloriam pro nobis
- Peace, Peace, so Sing the Birds (2018)
- Piano Concerto (Ito)
- Planets, The, Trilogy for Band
- Preludio Celebrativo
- Rapsodia di Toyama
- Rapsodia Formasa
- Remembrance II
- Ryukuan Fantasy for Band (1997)
- Sinfonia Singaporiana (2005)
- Solo Una Volta! (2013)
- Soma Festival March
- Soma Festival March No.2
- Sonata Classica
- That Which He Has Taught Us (2015)
- Time into Music (2018)
- Variations from the Northern Sea (1993)
- Ito, Y. (1990). Gloriosa: Symphonic Poem for Band [score]. Ongaku No Tomo Sha Corp: Tokyo.
- Miles, Richard B., and Larry Blocher. 2002. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 4. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 656-663.