3/20/11 – Case Studies in Contemporary Music

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Dr. Mark Scatterday
guest conductor

March, Op. 99
by Sergei Prokofiev, arr. Paul Yoder

Old Wine in New Bottles
by Gordon Jacob

1 – The Wraggle Taggle Gypsies

2 – The Three Ravens

3 – Begone, Dull Care!

4 – Early One Morning

Symphony No. 6
by Vincent Persichetti

1 – Adagio/Allegro

2 – Adagio sostenuto

3 – Allegretto

4 – Vivace

Music for Prague (1968)
by Karel Husa

1 – Introduction and Fanfare

2 – Aria

3, 4 – Interlude; Toccata and Chorale

Case Studies in Contemporary Music 3/20/11

Case Studies in Contemporary Music 3/20/11

Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (1891–1953) was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century. Originally composed for military band, his March, Op. 99 was adapted and arranged into this well-known version by Paul Yoder. Although not written in the traditional march style, this impressive work that offers an impressive program opening.

British composer Gordon Jacob (1895–1984) was known for his wind instrument compositions and his instructional writings. He taught music theory and composition at the Royal College of Music from 1926 until 1966. He was especially drawn to wind instruments and has added much to the wind, solo brass, and chamber ensemble repertoires. He also wrote numerous works for orchestral and choral groups. Composed in 1958, Old Wine in New Bottles is Jacob’s spirited, light-hearted setting of four early English songs.

Vincent Persichetti (1915–1987) was one of America’s most respected 20th-Century composers. His contributions enriched the entire music literature; his influence as a conductor, teacher, scholar, and keyboard virtuoso is universally acknowledged. In addition to well-known works for a variety of other media, Persichetti composed 16 major concert works for band. His Symphony No. 6  is certainly a work that has become a cornerstone of the wind band repertoire. For Persichetti, whose contributions to the wind medium cannot be understated, this is probably his most significant work for winds. 

Czech-born composer and conductor Karel Husa (born August 7, 1921 in Prague) is the winner of the 1969 Pulitzer Prize and 1993 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Music Compostion. He came to the United States in 1954 and became an American citizen in 1959. Music for Prague (1968) is a programmatic work written for symphonic band and later transcribed for full orchestra, written shortly after the crushing of the Prague Spring reform movement in Czechoslovakia in 1968. Husa was
sitting on the dock at his cottage in America at the time, listening to the BBC broadcast of the events on the radio. He was deeply moved, and wrote Music for Prague (1968) to memorialize the events. This piece is a standard among wind ensemble repertoire. The work was commissioned by Ithaca College and was premiered in January 1969 in Washington, DC at the Music Educators National Conference by Dr. Kenneth Snapp and the Ithaca College Concert Band.

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