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Joseph Schwantner

Joseph Schwantner

General Info

Year: 2004
Duration: c. 12:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Schott Music Distribution
Cost: Score and Parts - €355.00   |   Score Only - €79.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
Alt Flute
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Soprano Saxophone
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trumpet I-II
Trombone I-II
Piano (amplified)
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Anvil
  • Bass Drum (2)
  • Bongos
  • Brake Drums (4)
  • Conga drum
  • Cowbell (large)
  • Crotales
  • Glockenspiel
  • Marimba
  • Suspended Cymbal (large)
  • Suspended Cymbal (medium)
  • Suspended Cymbal (small)
  • Tam-tam (Large)
  • Tam-tam (medium)
  • Tam-tam (small)
  • Tenor Drum
  • Timbales
  • Timpani
  • Tom-Toms (1 set of 4)
  • Triangle (medium)
  • Triangle (small)
  • Triangles (Large -2)
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone

Players humming


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Recoil was commissioned through the Raymond and Beverly Sackler New Music Foundation by the University of Connecticut. It was given its premiere on 3 November 2004, at the Isaac Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, in New York, by the University of Connecticut Wind Ensemble, Jeffrey Renshaw, conductor. It is the first of Schwantner's works for winds to include both saxophone and euphonium parts, and was not inspired by poetry.

With Recoil, Schwantner utilizes a very limited palate and foregoes certain elements that characterized his first three works for winds (there is no use of micro-notation, “visual time signatures,” or other unconventional musical notations).

Schwantner writes:

Recoil is my fourth work for wind ensemble in a series of pieces that span twenty-nine years. The other works are: and the mountains rising nowhere (1977), From a Dark Millennium (1980), and In evening's stillness (1996). While Recoil employs a larger instrumentation than the earlier works, they all share similar characteristics in that each is framed in a single continuous movement and each exploit the rich timbral resources of an expanded percussion section that includes amplified piano.”

- Program Note by Nikk Pilato

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

  • Georgia: VI
  • Louisiana: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Ohio University (Athens) Wind Symphony (William Talley, conductor) – 3 November 2019
  • Eastman School of Music (Rochester, N.Y.) Wind Orchestra (Mark Scatterday, conductor) – 4 February 2019
  • University of Connecticut (Mansfield) Wind Ensemble (Jeffrey Renshaw, conductor) – 12 October 2017
  • State University of New York, Potsdam, Crane Wind Ensemble (Brian K. Doyle, conductor) – 22 February 2017
  • Eastman Wind Orchestra (Rochester, N.Y.) (Mark Davis Scatterday, conductor) - 22 February 2016
  • Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green) (Gary Schallert, conductor) – 20 February 2016 (CBDNA 2016 Southern Division Conference, Charleston, S.C.)
  • University of Texas Wind Ensemble (Corey Pompey, conductor) - 23 November 2014
  • Illinois State University (Normal) Wind Symphony (Martin H. Seggelke, conductor) - 28 September 2014
  • The Hartt School Wind Ensemble (Glenn Adsit, conductor) - 29 March 2007

Works for Winds by this Composer


  • Higbee, Scott. (2003). "Joseph Schwantner" from A Composer's Insight." Galesville, MD: Meredith Music.
  • Joseph Schwantner website
  • Pilato, Nikk. (2007). A Conductor's Guide to Wind Music of Joseph Schwantner Doctoral Dissertation.
  • Renshaw, Jeffrey H. "Recoil." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 6, edit. & comp. by Richard Miles, 852-862. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2007.
  • Renshaw, Jeffrey. (1991). Schwantner on Composition. Instrumentalist, 45(6)
  • Schwantner, J. (2004). Recoil: For Wind Ensemble [score]. Schott Helicon Music: New York.