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Were You There?

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John P. Lynch

John P Lynch


General Info

Year: 2006
Duration: c. 6:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: C. Alan Publications
Cost: Score and Parts - $75.00    |   Score Only - $15.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Contrabassoon
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bb Soprano Saxophone
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone I-II
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Bass Saxophone
Bb Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
Euphonium
Baritone
Tuba
Timpani
Harp
Piano
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Crotales
  • Cymbals (crash and suspended)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Handbells
  • Marimba
  • Side Drum
  • Tam-Tam
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

Were You There? is a tone poem based on the traditional hymn tune. The title becomes a philosophical and rhetorical question as the piece examines various contemporary views of the message of religion. A primary unifying musical element is the river motive, marked “flowing,” a metaphor for life. Two new themes are introduced: One, marked “with conviction,” presents a righteous viewpoint whose interpretation of the message of Christianity is literal, and a second, marked “tenderly,” that expresses an interpretation based on compassion. The ensuing section is a transformation of the river motive. An ongoing ostinato creates a sense of stasis and introduces a third point of view reflecting Buddhist philosophy, in which the themes are posed as questions. A brief piano solo, a cyclic idea that could go on forever, alludes briefly to the atheist point of view. This section culminates in the most straightforward presentation of Were You There?

The piece draws to a close with a forceful statement of the three main themes in juxtaposition to the hymn tune, which appears in augmentation in the horn and chime parts. The final conclusion is thus left to the listener.

-Program note by publisher


Commercial Discography


Audio Links

Audio Sample from Publisher Web site


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Recent Performances

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Works for Winds by this Composer


Additional Resources