BELLS FOR STOKOWSKI SCORE PDF

The sound is just as real as it can be, utterly without strain or congestion, the contrabassoons buzzing, the horns barking, the trombones and trumpets crackling. Their alert, lively performances have the electricity of a Texas line storm, but also are notable for their precise tuning and excellent ensemble. Two premieres round out the disc. It is a stunner, inspired the the image of Leopold Stokowski making a sunrise visit to the Liberty Bell and hearing the bells of the city begin to peal.

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Bells for Stokowski is a tribute to one of the most influential and controversial conductors of the 20th century. Born in London, Leopold Stokowski began his career as an organist. In Philadelphia, Stokowski boldly conducted American music alongside European traditional and new orchestral repertoire. Stokowski created a sensation by conducting world premieres of avant-garde composers such as Igor Stravinsky and Edgar Varese, and he enraged classical purists with his lavishly Romantic orchestral transcriptions of Bach.

His fascination with timbre led him to experiment with the seating of players, moving sections of the orchestra to different parts of the stage. These dramatic spatial arrangements appealed to the eye as well as the ear. In Bells for Stokowski I imagine Stokowski in Philadelphia visiting the Liberty Bell at sunrise, and listening to all the bells of the city resonate.

The composition begins with two percussionists, placed on opposite ends of the stage, performing stereophonically on identical ringing percussion instruments such as chimes, crotales, sleigh bells, bell trees, and various non-pitched metals. A saxophone quartet introduces an original theme that I have composed in the style of Bach. This baroque fantasy is modulated in my musical language through a series of tonal and atonal variations.

I utilize multiple musical canons, polyrhythms, and counterpoints to achieve a complex timbral layering throughout Bells for Stokowski.

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Bells for Stokowski | Michael Daugherty, composer | Official website

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Bells for Stokowski for symphonic band (2002) | Michael Daugherty, composer | Official website

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