Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue  (2010)

 

available from the composer

duration ca. 7:00

Instrumentation (original for orchestra):

piccolo, 2 flutes,

2 oboes,

3 clarinets in A, bass clarinet in Bb,

alto saxophone in Eb,

bassoon, contrabassoon

4 horns in F,

3 trumpets in C,

3 trombones,

euphonium, tuba, bass tuba

percussion: 6 players

timpani,

2 glockenspiels, vibraphone chimes

large bass drum, tam-tam, snare drum, sizzle cymbal, suspended cymbal,

2 suspended finger cymbals, 2 triangles

mandolin, guitar, harp

strings

The two glockenspiels should be placed at opposite sides of the stage, with the vibraphone in the middle of the stage in the back.  The brass should be placed at the rear of the orchestra in front of the percussion and behind the horns as follows:

 

Bass Tuba        Trombone 1       Trumpet 1       Trumpet 3        Euphonium        Trumpet 2        Trombone 2        Trombone 3         Tuba 

Instrumentation (transcrition for symphonic band):

piccolo, 2 flutes,

2 oboes, bassoon, contrabassoon (may be replaced by bassoon 2)

Eb clarinet, 3 Bb clarinets,

Bb bass clarinet, Bb contrabass clarinet (optional)

soprano saxophone in Bb, alto saxophone in Eb,

tenor saxophone in Bb, baritone saxophone in Eb

 

4 horns in F

3 trumpets in C

3 trombones

euphonium, tuba, bass tuba

 

percussion: 7 players

timpani

2 glockenspiels, vibraphone, marimba, chimes

large bass drum, tam-tam, snare drum, sizzle cymbal, suspended cymbal, 2 suspended finger cymbals, 2 triangles

 

The two glockenspiels should be placed at opposite sides of the stage, with the vibraphone in the middle of the stage in the back.  The brass should be placed at the rear of the orchestra in front of the percussion and behind the horns as follows:

 

Bass Tuba        Trombone 1       Trumpet 1       Trumpet 3        Euphonium        Trumpet 2        Trombone 2        Trombone 3         Tuba               

Program Note

Something Old, Something New; Something Borrowed, Something Blue takes its title from the Victorian-era wedding tradition of endowing a bride with ornaments symbolic of her new life and her deep connection to family.  The title was suggested to me by Professor Johnny Poon, director of the Hong Kong Baptist University Symphony Orchestra, who commissioned the work in celebration of the inauguration of BU’s new president Albert Chan.  As a dedicated postmodernist, I jumped at the opportunity to combine old and new, and with the addition of the letter ’s’ at the end, to write some Blues.  When the additional suggestion was made that I write for two tubas (later expanded to three!) I thought of the antiphonal music of the great Renaissance composer Giovanni Gabrieli, whose music is commonly played by large brass choirs today.  Aside from the attractive instrumentation and spatial effects, I’ve loved Gabrieli’s music for his fascinating rhythmic sense, which sometimes seems to approach big band swing music in its sophisticated syncopation.  And so the piece was born, a jubilant mash-up of Gabrieli, and Gustav Mahler with touches of George Gershwin and even the faintest background hint of Felix Mendelssohn’s Wedding March.  As to whether or not the material is actually borrowed or merely appropriated, I await the phone call, “Hello, this is Giovanni, and I want my sonata back!”                        

 

World premiere performed by the Hong Kong Baptist University Symphony Orchestra,  Johnny Poon, conductor. on October 25, 2010 at the Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall.                                                                                                                                     -

Christopher Coleman

4A, Tower 1
22 Sui Wo Road
Fo Tan, New Territories
Hong Kong

Home: (852) 2691-8776 
Office: (852) 3411-7595 

(852) 3411-7870 (FAX)
darkgardens@gmail.com

  • facebook-square
  • Twitter Square
  • google-plus-square