Music of Amber

From Wind Repertory Project
Joseph Schwantner

Joseph Schwantner

General Info

Year: 1981
Duration: c. 19:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Schott
Cost: Score and Parts Rental   |   Score Only (print) - €50.00


1. Wind Willow, Whisper . . . 7:00
2. Sanctuary c. 12:00


Full Score
B-flat Soprano Clarinet (doubling B-flat Bass Clarinet)
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bell Tree
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tam-Tam
  • Timbales
  • Tom-Toms
  • Triangle (suspended)



None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Music of Amber, written for the New York New Music Ensemble and completed in February 1981, is scored for flute, clarinet/bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano and percussion. A brief original poem accompanies each of the work's two movements or parts. While the work is not programmatic in the traditional sense, the poems did provide a landscape of extra-musical images and ideas which enhanced and stimulated the compositional process. This procedure of responding and reacting musically to poetic stimuli is found in several of my recent works, including Aftertones of Infinity (1978) and Distant Runes and Incantations (1984).

The first movement, subtitled Wind Willow, Whisper . . ., originally commissioned by the Fromm Music Foundation, was one of six short works by six composers written to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Da Capo Chamber Players, and was first performed by them in March 1980. Because of the movement's relative brevity, I later felt that a second movement should be added. This new version also included the addition of an extensive percussion part in Movement I. The second movement, subtitled Sanctuary, provided formal balance to the work's overall design and allowed for further opportunities to investigate and explore the musical materials presented in the first movement. It was with this expanded formal scenario in mind that I attempted to create a larger mosaic of musical relations.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Schwantner, J. (1981). Music of Amber [score]. Helicon Music Corp.: [United States].