Unending Lightning

From Wind Repertory Project
Bernard Rands

Bernard Rands

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General Info

Year: 2002
Duration: c. 12:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Unknown
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Alto Flute
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Flugelhorn I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
Euphonium I-II
Tuba I-II
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos
  • Claves
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Tam-Tam
  • Temple Blocks
  • Tom-Tom
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

The work takes its title from a poem by Dylan Thomas entitled On the Marriage of a Virgin, ("Though the moment of a miracle is unending lightning"). Its formal structure, typical of Rands' work in recent years, juxtaposes two markedly different, seemingly irreconcilable musical ideas and alternates them throughout the duration of the work, with both element undergoing transformation on each of their subsequent appearances. Here, the first (a rhythmically articulated, static and transparent harmonic character) marked tranquillo us followed by a rhythmically energetic, harmonically opaque interruption, marked feroce. The relative presence of each of these determines the formal contour and intensity of the work. A third element (a figuration carried throughout by two vibraphones, marimba and piano in unison) acts as an arbiter between the two opposing elements, gradually revealing their latent similarities.

Unending Lightning engages the wind ensemble in a virtuosic display of rhythmic, agility, timbre, and dynamic range and, though challenging in these respects, it does so without placing taxing demands on individual players. In short, it aims at a collective ensemble virtuosity rather than a soloistic one.

Unending Lightning was commissioned by the Howard Hanson Institute of American Music at the Eastman School, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Eastman Wind Ensemble. It is dedicated to Donald Hunsberger with affection and in admiration.

- Program Note from A Composer's Insight: Richard Rodney Bennett


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Eastman Wind Ensemble (Rochester, N.Y.) (Donald Hunsberger, conductor) - 8 February 2002 *Premiere Performance* *Eastman Wind Ensemble 50th Anniversary Concert*

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Rands, B. [200-?]. Unending Lightning: For Wind Ensemble [score]. [s.n.]: [United States].
  • Salzman, Timothy. A Composer's Insight: Thoughts, Analysis, and Commentary on Contemporary Masterpieces for Wind Band. Galesville, MD: Meredith Music, 2006, p. 166. Print.