The Sacred Way

The Sacred Way (2009)Brass Quintet (2,1,1,1).

The Sacred Way is a piece for brass quintet in three movements titled “Processional Fanfare,” “Disturbance,” and “A Sacred Hymn.” The Sacred Way is supposed to suggest medieval or renaissance music, but it makes use of 20th century techniques. The first movement, “Processional Fanfare,” starts with a chorale-like melody that is stated in all of the brass instruments. Then the trumpets brighten up a fanfare with a response by the trombone and tuba. The second movement, “Disturbance,” describes how a nasty storm interrupts the sacred processional. This disturbance is created by the pervasive tritones throughout the movement, as well as the use of other dissonances. This movement also features a chorale-like theme in the horn, but the melody disappears as the heavy dissonances return. The third movement, “A Sacred Hymn,” is the most tonal of the three movements. This movement shows how after the disturbance of the storm, people gather and start singing a soft hymn, in order to clear their mind from the incident.

Premiered by: The Red Cedar Brass Quintet. Premiered at Michigan State University Music Aud on October 20, 2009.

Duration: 7:00 minutes

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