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Symphony for Wind Ensemble (Ardizzoia)

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Andrew Ardizzoia

Andrew Ardizzoia

General Info

Year: 2014
Duration: c. 35:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Andrew Ardizzoia
Cost: Contact Andrew Ardizzoia


1. Grave – Tranquillo – Fugato – Tempo primo - 10:00
2. Allegro Scherzando - 7:00
3. Finale: Poco lento – Allegro, Sempre Energico – Lamentoso – Allegro - 16:00<vr />


Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
English Horn
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Trombone I-II-III
Piano/Celesta (one player)
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos
  • Chimes
  • Chinese Cymbal
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Egg Shaker
  • Glockenspiel
  • Hi-hat
  • Marimba
  • Sandpaper Blocks
  • Snare Drums (2, standard and piccolo)
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-tam
  • Temple Blocks
  • Tom-toms (2)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

During the summer of 2011, I twice visited an exhibit of drawings by Richard Serra (b. 1939) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Serra is best known for his enormous constructions with steel plates, and for his early “splash pieces” which involved throwing molten lead against the walls of the exhibition space.

I was at first surprised to find that Serra drew at all; something as delicate as paintstick on paper seemed fundamentally at odds with the massive, brawny works for which he is known. As I learned more, however, I found that Serra draws not only to create a body of work separate from his sculptures but that he also draws to work out ideas about a sculpture after it is finished and installed. For Serra, “to draw a line is to have an idea.”

Some of Serra’s drawings are nothing more than huge pieces of paper, stretched ceiling to floor, completely covered in a thin matte layer of black paintstick (a substance similar to crayon). Others feature thick, topographical applications of the same waxy substance. Some are nothing more than simple lines: spontaneous reactions to Serra’s own sculptures jotted down in the notebook he carries at all times. This habit resonated with me, since making a physical mark upon the page is an important part of my process as a composer. It is absolutely necessary for me to touch every note; physically engaging with pencil, pen, and paper (at whatever stage in the process) is how I come to terms with my music. It is how I understand both small and large scale form, how I comprehend the essence of my material.

The symphony is in three movements, the first of which is a loose sonata form with a fugato recapitulation. The second movement is a rondo that begins with an incessant, aggressive repeated-note theme. This is followed by manic woodwind arabesques that give way to arching melodies in the lowest instruments, and later to ironic, march-like materials. The finale begins as an exercise in restraint, transforming slowly into a sustained outburst of ecstatic, unbridled energy. This is interrupted by a sudden and dramatic reappearance of the first movement’s initial theme. The lamentoso that follows also attempts to suppress the movement’s latent energy, but it soon reemerges, propelling the work to its frenzied close.

The symphony begins in E-flat and ends in F, while more localized, internal key relationships are mostly third related (E-flat to C in the first movement, C to both A and E-flat in the second). Several half-step pairs (C/D-flat, E/E-flat, etc.) play significant structural roles throughout the piece, as do chords made up of perfect fourths. Perhaps the most significant governing principle is the long-range “opening up” of minor thirds (so prevalent in the first two movements) to major thirds (in the finale). The traditional student song Gaudeamus Igitur and Wagner’s “Tristan chord” are both quoted just near the end of the symphony, as a bittersweet farewell to my formal studies in music.

- Program Note from composer

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

Media Links

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Hartt School (West Hartford, Conn.) Wind Ensemble (John Hart, conductor) – 15 February 2015
  • Hartt School (West Hartford, Conn.) Wind Ensemble (Glen Adsit, conductor) – 13 December 2014

Works for Winds by this Composer