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Lonely Beach

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James Barnes

James Barnes

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Subtitle: Normandy 1944

General Info

Year: 1993
Duration: c. 11:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Southern Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $175.00   |   Score Only (print) - $29.50


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra Alto Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass
Harp and Synthesizer
Percussion I-II-III-IV

(percussion detail desired)

Chorus (optional)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Lonely Beach is a tone poem about some isolated and not particularly attractive beaches on the northern coast of France which, for a few hours on late spring day in 1944, were transformed into the most important location in the violent history of the 20th century. The first half of this tone poem attempts to depict what a single soldier might have seen on that cold, misty morning. It begins with the wind and the sound of the waves, then gradually builds as the assault begins. Off-stage trumpets and percussion are employed in this work to help portray the incredible panic and total chaos of the situation. The music builds into a frenzy and becomes more complex and confusing until, ultimately, the soldier runs up the beach and is struck by the bullet that kills him.

The second half of this work (beginning with the entrance of a female chorus) is a eulogy for all the soldiers who died on this insignificant length of sand and rocks. The shouting and gunfire are now but echoes in our imagination.

Lonely Beach (Normandy, 1944) was commissioned by the United States Army Band, Washington, D.C.

- Program Note by publisher

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

  • Virginia: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by this Composer


  • Barnes, J. (1993). Lonely Beach (Normandy, 1944) [score]. Southern Music Co.: San Antonio, Tex.