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Steps in Escher’s Castle, The

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Paul Richards

Paul Richards

General Info

Year: 2004
Duration: c. 6:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Paul Richards - Official Website
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown   |  Score Only - Unknown


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Eb Soprano Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone I-II
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Cymbals (2 suspended)
  • Gong (Tam-tam)
  • Snare Drum
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

On the steps at the top of the castle in M.C. Escher’s “Ascending and Descending”, half of the monks appear to be climbing perpetually upwards, while half are climbing perpetually down. Their walk is purposeful and steady. That they will never reach a destination does not seem to bother them, or perhaps they have reached their destination already on this eternal flight of stairs.

The stepwise bass motion in this piece does the same thing: it is nearly always steadily rising, yet it never gets very high. The same melody repeats several times, always over different supporting harmonies, frequently accompanied by ascending or descending lines.

Commissioned by Upsilon Phi chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Epsilon Phi chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, for the Truman State University Wind Symphony, Dan Peterson, conductor.

-Program Note by Paul Richards

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

Audio Link

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.

Recent Performances

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Additional Works for Winds by this Composer

Additional Resources

None discovered thus far.