Past & Present for low brass ensemble & 2 marimbas
Past & Present is scored for two euphoniums, three tubas and two marimbas. The title of this work reflects its underlying musical and motivic structure. The opening music (for brass alone) is slow and meditative, modeled on the notion of choral music for male choir. While the harmonic language is tonal in a late-20th century style, the spirit is that of sacred music of the Renaissance. As in many choral works from that period, the structure of the music is built on a series of developing motives. These motives appear melodically, and also provide harmonic impetus.
The second part of the piece is fast music, and introduces the two marimba parts. The syncopation and ostinato patterns found in this music already suggest a time closer to our own. However, the motivic material which forms the basis of this fast music is derived from the opening slow music. In this way, one encounters a Present which comes from the Past. Later, as this fast music develops and proceeds in its own way, there are moments where aspects of the slow choral music are superimposed on the fast music. In other words, this Present is not only derived from the Past and continues to develop from it, but the Past is also an actual part of the Present, and conceptually exists with it as a simultaneous component of Time.
The composition of Past & Present was begun in December, 1997, and then completed in February, 1998, in Cedar Falls, Iowa. It remains unperformed.
- euphoniums, tubas, 2 marimbas
- Date completed:
- ca. 6:00
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