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Flute in chamber music - quartets:
CONSTELLATIONS for flute, piano, and percussion (1 or 2 players) by Howard J. Buss is part of a series of compositions by the composer inspired by the awesome grandeur and beauty of the cosmos. The forward thrust, narrative quality, and colorful ambience of the music suggest the musicians are on a wondrous journey exploring a series of varied and colorful star systems. The juxtaposition between agitated chromatic passages and tonal, focused sections is analogous to the experience of viewing up-close, seemingly chaotic space "debris" (dust, rocks, gas, etc.) as contrasted with the beauty and exquisite organization of star systems viewed from afar. (13’15”) Grade V-VI. B439 $36.00 YouTube performance
COSMIC PORTRAITS (2009) in versions for flute, clarinet, alto sax, and tenor sax and flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon by Howard J. Buss consists of 3 movements inspired by views of objects in the Milky Way galaxy. The titles of the first 2 movements, The Backbone of Night and The Pale Blue Dot are taken from the writings of the renowned astrophysicist, Carl Sagan. In his book, Cosmos, he describes how the !Kung Bushman in Botswana refer to the Milky Way as “the backbone of night.” The spine of the Milky Way often appears directly over the Kalahari Desert. The !Kung believe it to be the structural foundation of the heavens and that one of its functions in relation to Earth, among many, is that it holds up the darkness. In his book, The Pale Blue Dot, Sagan poetically describes a haunting view of Earth from a distant point in our galaxy. He puts our worldly concerns into cosmic perspective when he refers to all that has ever happened to human beings as occurring “on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” The final movement, Orbitals, suggests celestial bodies revolving around one another in a fascinating cosmic dance. Moons orbiting planets, planets around suns, suns around other suns culminate in the swirling wonder of our galaxy. (18’10”) Grade V.
Score Samples: Movement_1.pdf; Movement_2.pdf; Movement_3.pdf
Sound Samples (flute, clarinet alto sax & tenor sax version): Excerpt, Mvt.1.mp3; Excerpt, Mvt.2.mp3; Excerpt, Mvt.3.mp3 YouTube performances of the 3 movements from a concert can be viewed at: Movement I., Movement II., Movement III.
THE DISTANCES THEY KEEP (2001) for two high voices (sopranos or tenors), flute, and piano by Roger Vogel is a beautiful, lyrical work about mans relationship to nature, and wild birds specifically. It is based upon an enchanting poem of the same name by Howard Nemerov. Recorded on the OASIS CD Love Letters (ORCV4000), available from Brixton Publications CD-109. The vocal ranges required are d below the staff to A above the staff, and Db below the staff to A above the staff respectively. (1230) Grade V.
Sound Sample: Excerpt.mp3
DRY BONES, the well-known African American spiritual (the foot bone's connected to the leg bone, the leg bone's connected to the...), arranged by Howard Buss, makes a memorable concert feature as well as a rousing musical offering in church. Multiple players may be used on each part to expand the ensemble. This arrangement is hugely influenced by jazz. The composer wrote an extended two-part introduction which begins hymn-like, and then breaks out in a jubilant jazzy section. This is followed by a more traditional rendering of the spiritual; however, as the music reaches its climax, the jazz "licks" from the introduction are brought back as counterpoint against the main melody of the spiritual. The result is exhilarating, and for a bit of humor, just as the work ends, there is a "tongue-in-cheek" plagal cadence. (230)
Dry Bones flute quartet sound sample: Excerpt.mp3; Score_Sample.pdf
Dry Bones woodwind quartet sound sample: Excerpt.mp3; Score_Sample.pdf
FANTASY QUARTET (2003) for flute, clarinet, bassoon & marimba (plays also temple blocks) by Scott Jordan in 3 movements: Pixie Dance is a spirited, playful forest scene which employs contrasting metric feels simultaneously.Magic Forest evokes a mysterious nocturnal ambience with an overlapping of ethereal long tones and echoes. Sprites is quick and dance-like. (11) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt, Movement 1.mp3, Excerpt movement 2.mp3, Excerpt, Movement 3.mp3
FESTIVAL (1996) by Howard J. Buss is an imaginative quartet which exudes a contagious optimism. This compelling work showcases Buss unique style of soaring lyricism and exciting contrasts. Everyone in the ensemble has a interesting part as well. It is a memorable and upbeat concert piece and makes a joyous musical offering in church. (6'20") Grade V.
INTO EACH LIFE (1997) for flute, cello, piano and one percussion by Howard J. Buss was commissioned by The Florida Flute Association and the Brannen-Cooper Fund as a tribute to the renown flutist Albert Tipton. It is in 2 main sections, the first of which juxtaposes lyrical and turbulent passages. The final section takes the form of a joyous fugue. The instrumentation includes vibes, orch. bells, cymbals, tam-tam, bongos, wood block and tambourine. (11) Grade V. Score Sample.pdf; Percussion Set-up Chart.pdf
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3 - YouTube video
PRELUDE AND INTRADA for woodwind quartet (flute, oboe, clarinet, & bassoon) by Howard J. Buss. This attractive quartet features lyrical writing, and spirited rhythmic drive. The Prelude combines fanfare and lyrical sections as well as tonal and polytonal harmonies. The festive Intrada is in an ABA-Coda format and features crisp, energetic rhythms and lyrical contrapuntal writing. This is a memorable feature number or an impressive contest piece. Multiple players may be used on each part. (5’30”) Grade IV.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3 - Score Sample: excerpt.pdf
THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTER (1989) for narrator, flute, viola & piano by David Alpher. Based upon Lewis Carrolls well-known poem from Through the Looking Glass (1871) this entertaining composition transforms the familiar words from their Victorian and child-like context to a very different sound world primarily influenced by jazz. Finalist in the 1996 Newly-Published Music Competition of the National Flute Assn. (15) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3
WINTER WINDS for woodwind quartet (flute, oboe, clarinet & bassoon) by Roger Vogel reflects the vivid contrasts of winter - from the soft winds that accompany falling snow, to the sharp winds that chill to the bone. Recorded on the CD Sunlight and Shadows by the University of Georgia Woodwind Quartet - ACA-CM20085. (1515) Grade V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt, Movement 1A.mp3; Excerpt, Movement 1B.mp3;
Excerpt, Movement 2A.mp3; Excerpt, Movement 2B.mp3
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