The three movements of this suite are:
- Fanfare and Grotesque March
- Somber Shades
- Blazing Fury
The opening fanfare reveals the quartal harmonies on which the whole work is based. The march in traditional form is labeled “grotesque” because of its awkward intervals, the “halting, limping” effect in the percussion and the shifting meter signatures.
In “Somber Shades” all the instruments are muted. The movement opens with soft gong sounds from which an undulating theme in the second horn begins a gradual ascent picked up by the first horn and second trumpet. The first trumpet entering with the main theme continues the melodic rise to a grand peak then descends in retrograde fashion. The undulating theme returns (also in retrograde fashion) until the second horn fades into the sound of the gong.
The final movement opens with a “blazing” series of chords that lead to a theme of driving energy presented in canonic style. A return of the fanfare of the opening movement played molto accelerando closes the suite.
Fanfare and Grotesque March – Movement 1 (excerpt)
Somber Shades – Movement 2 (excerpt)
Blazing Fury – Movement 3 (excerpt)
|Length||Approx. 11 minutes|
|Instrumentation||2B-flat trumpets, 2 horns in F, percussion--bass drum, |
snare drum, triangle, tambourine, gong, suspended cymbal, timpani (3)