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To the Mountain

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Jerry Kracht

Jerry Kracht


General Info

Year: 2017
Duration: c. 13:35
Difficulty: IV+ (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Jerry Kracht
Cost: Score and Parts - $148.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II (II doubles English Horn)
Bassoon I-II
Contrabassoon
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III (III doubles Bass Clarinet)
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Piano
Timpani
Percussion I-VI, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Orchestra Chimes
  • Snare Drum
  • Tam-Tam
  • Temple Blocks


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

From the very founding of Pacific Lutheran University in 1890-91, music has played a central role in the PLU curriculum and campus life. Indeed, the first faculty member to be hired at PLU was a music professor and band director -- Carlo A. Sperati. Inspired by the majesty of 14,410 foot Mt. Rainier, clearly visible from campus, Sperati led his young musicians—the first PLU band—on a trek to Camp Muir at the mountain’s 10,000 foot level. There they played Luther’s best-loved hymn, A Mighty Fortress is Our God. Ever since, the “mountain-top experience” has been a metaphor for music at PLU. Memorializing that historic accomplishment of so many years ago I wrote To the Mountain, written in 2017, and dedicated it to the current Pacific Lutheran University Wind Ensemble and its director, Dr. Edwin C. Powell.

The work is cast in three scenes. The musical materials of the first scene are derived from select letters of Carlo Sperati’s name -- C, A, R (R=re=D), S (S=Es=E-flat), E, and T (T=ti=B) -- their various permutations naturally giving rise to A minor and related harmonies. After a dramatic opening announcement, the slow ascent begins in steady march-like step -- the mood a mixture of awe, pilgrim-like determination and faithful optimism as seven variants unfold. As the climbers finally approach their goal, the mounting tension is broken by a sudden moment of breathless anticipation: A solo horn call, echoed from afar, resolves into a brilliant burst of sound in an entirely new and unexpected key. The band has arrived! Equally unexpected (and seemingly as out of place here as a band on a mountain!), a brief piano cadenza follows as scene two begins, leading to a moment of spellbound contemplation of the wondrous view before them. Otherworldly sounds accompany, but they soon give way to feelings of simple reverence and thanksgiving as a solo flute begins Luther’s beloved hymn. The band gradually joins in to make a full statement of the hymn in its well-known traditional form. Lively celebration then follows as the third scene is launched by Luther’s lesser-known original rhythmic-tune variant, its joyful dance followed by brief but energetic development of materials from the first two scenes. A brief moment of reflection and thankfulness precedes the coda. The three scenes connect without pause.

- Program Note by composer


Media

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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

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Works for Winds by This Composer


Resources

  • Jerry Kracht, personal correspondence, March 2018
  • Pacific Lutheran University Wind Ensemble concert program, 11 March 2018