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Prayer of Elijah, The

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Jesse Ayers

Jesse Ayers


General Info

Year: 1995
Duration: c. 8:00
Difficulty: Band IV, soloist VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Jesse Ayers
Cost: Score & parts $100    Score & PDF parts $60    Score only $25    ORDER HERE

Instrumentation

Solo Euphonium (featured soloist, standing front of stage)
Flute I-II
Bassoon I-II (cued in Clar I-II
Contrabassoon (optional)
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Contra Alto Clarinet (optional)
Bb Contrabass Clarinet (optional)

Alto Saxophone I-II (echoing the soloist from the rear two corners of the hall)

Trumpets (any number, blowing air through horn for wind effect)
Horn in F (2 or 4)
Trombones (any number, blowing air through horn for wind effect)
Euphonium (featured soloist)
Tuba (blowing air through horn for wind effect)

Piano

Whistling tubes behind audience, played by 4-8 extra people (photo here, scroll down0

Percussion I-II-III

  • Orchestra bells (glockenspiel)
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone
  • Chimes


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

The Prayer of Elijah is the slow, middle movement of ...and they gathered on Mount Carmel, a surround-sound work based on the great contest in ancient Israel between Elijah and the prophets of Baal recorded in I Kings 18. The work was begun in March 1994 in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, while the composer was an artist-in-residence at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and was completed in Knoxville, Tennessee, the following March. The work received its premiere in 1995 by the University of Kentucky Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Richard Clary and has been recorded by the Valparaiso University Chamber Concert Band under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Scott Doebler. This composition has been supported with grants from the American Music Center and Meet The Composer.

The prophets of Baal having failed to call down fire to consume their sacrifice, it is now Elijah's turn to call upon the God of Israel. The composer imagines an almost unearthly quiet, intensified by a low wind, as all eyes turn to Elijah. In contrast to the ranting and raving and blood-letting of the false prophets, Elijah sings his prayer. The effect of the brass blowing air through their horns, the "whistling" of the plastic tubes being twirled, and the synthesizer "string" inverted pedal point creates the sense of eerie silence. The euphonium intones a prayer, which echoes about the mountain (offstage saxophones). Melody is the predominant parameter of this movement to contrast the emphasis on rhythm in the first. The euphonium solo is a development of thematic material presented by the clarinets in the previous movement.



Awards

  • Finalist, 2013 American Prize for Composition - Band Division

Audio Links

Click here to listen

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Recent Performances

  • Windiana Concert Band (Jeffrey Scott Doebler, conductor) - November 2011
  • Summer Wind Band, Milan, Italy - Summer 2011
  • University of Rhode Island Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Dr. Gene Pollart, conductor) - March 2011
  • Valparaiso University Chamber Concert Band (Dr. Jeffrey Scott Doebler, conductor) - March 2004, various tour venues in CA
  • Valparaiso University Chamber Concert Band (Dr. Jeffrey Scott Doebler, conductor) - March 2000, performances in NY, OH, & Ontario
  • Concordia University Chicago Wind Symphony (Dr. Richard Fischer, conductor) - March 2000, various tour venues in CA
  • Valparaiso University Chamber Concert Band (Dr. Jeffrey Scott Doebler, conductor) - October 1999
  • Symposium XXI for New Band Music, The Virginia Intercollegiate Band (Jesse Ayers, conductor) - February 1996
  • The University of Kentucky Wind Ensemble (Richard Clary, conductor) - April 1995

Additional Works for Winds by this Composer


Additional Resources