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Nonet for Brass and Percussion

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William Kraft

William Kraft

General Info

Year: 1958 / 1998
Duration: c. 25:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Theodore Presser
Cost: Score and Parts - $129.00


Full Score
C Trumpet I-II
Horn in F
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum (large)
  • Chimes
  • Crotales
  • Drums (4: graduated)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gongs (2)
  • Sizzle Cymbal
  • Suspended Cymbals (4: graduated)
  • Tam-tam (2: large and very large)
  • Triangle Beaters (mounted)
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Nonet for Brass and Percussion was written at the request of Lawrence Morton, director of Monday Evening Concerts in Los Angeles, on which series the work was premiered October 13, 1958. It is scored for brass quintet and percussion quartet playing a variety of instruments. The following analysis is written by the composer:

The work is dodecaphonic, the fundamental row growing out of the freely composed introductory material. The fundamental series is the progenitor of various offspring, e.g., in the 4th movement where the row is segmented into 7 and 5 note series which are then treated independently.

There are 6 movements: the first is a dramatic opening. Out of the din of the final chords emerges the ringing of an F# gong which connects the first to the second movement where the F# becomes the axial pedal point – never disappearing – around which the entire movement revolves. For the third movement, a solo trio of the heaviest instruments of the nonary ensemble – tuba, trombone and timpani – is isolated. As if to find gravity they thrust themselves into a virtuosic display of agility – rapid – pointillistic – hocket-like.

The fourth movement is central to the structure of the whole work. Lyrical and contrapunctal it opens – after introductory statements by the vibraphone – with solos by each trumpet with full accompaniment. The tremolo line of the glockenspiel and the vibraphone which outlines the guileless middle section, raises images of a beautiful fantasy merry-go-round. This leads to an expansive adagio on a broad horn solo.

In its own way, the fifth movement is somewhat Proustian in its references to previous pieces of the composer. It is scored for the percussion quartet alone. Underlying the entire movement is a quasi-electronic sound created by playing on metal rods with a pair of triangle beaters.

The sixth movement is a climactic summation of the work. Most of the references to previous movements are devious, but not the parallel seconds at the end – they are obviously taken from the second movement.

- Program Note from liner notes of the Crystal Records CD Los Angeles Brass Quintet

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Kraft, W. (1988). Nonet for Brass and Percussion [score]. Theodore Presser: King of Prussia, Penn.