September 10, 2018

Paul Hindemith's Konzertmusik, Op. 41, composed in 1926, was, in some ways, written to promote the importance and relevance of wind music in classical performance. Although designed as a piece for amateurs, the piece is certainly challenging enough for professional players - a comparison may be drawn to the Schoenberg Theme and Variations, Op. 43a in this way. The piece is written...

October 1, 2012

Although we typically only think of Strauss's contributions to the wind band medium in terms of four pieces (Suite Op. 4, Serenade Op. 7, Sonatina No. 1, Symphony or Sonatina No. 2), he also wrote a good deal of brass band music. Among these contributions is his Wiener Philharmoniker Fanfare.

You can find program notes for the piece below, as well as a recording.

Program Notes by Barbara...

July 10, 2011

Continuing today with the music of Edgard Varèse, this post will focus on Hyperprism a work that Varese wrote in 1923, the same time period of the 1920's that he wrote Integrales and Octandre. Sorry in advance for the broken up nature of this post.

A biography of Varèse can be found in yesterday's post if you are interested in that sort of background information.

Here is a blog post by D...

May 19, 2011

As always, UMWO is on the cutting edge of contemporary music! See the article below from the LA Times on Sofia Gubaidulina whose Hour of the Soul we performed earlier this year. Enjoy!

Sofia Gubaidulina's spiritually musical journey


The 79-year-old composer, scheduled to be on hand Thursday when the Los Angeles Philharmonic performs her work Glorious Percussion,...

May 15, 2011

Here is some more ukiah (or haiku) from Dr. Votta.

Man with stick wave to and fro

Orchestra baffled

May we have downbeat? they ask


Saxophone hums like hummingbird

Or perhaps like saw

Skill of player is crucial


Weather turns humid: reeds die

Woodwind players weep

Must play Mahler symphony


A Mozart development:

Changing keys, brass rest.

Graveyard for concentration


Bows go up, down, up, down,...

May 15, 2011

Given our recent concert with Pulcinella, today's Composers Datebook seemed appropriate.

Audio for Composers Datebook 5/15/2011

Stravinsky and Rochberg start trends

Today we celebrate two premieres and one three-letter prefix: "neo," meaning "new."

On today's date in 1920, Igor Stravinsky's ballet "Pulcinella" was produced for the first time in Paris by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Stravins...

May 13, 2011

Percussion make much banging

Drums, cymbals, toys all sound

Too loud and out of tempo


Second violins slumber

When they should make sound

Dreaming of concerto glory


Flutes: always inaudible

Until they play high

Then they are always too loud


Oboes turn bright red like beets

Playing a short phrase

Beautiful sound but eyes bulge

May 12, 2011

Over the next few days, we will be posting some of Dr. Votta's musical "ukiah" on our blog. We can't really call it haiku since the syllables are 7-5-7 instead of 5-7-5, but they're entertaining all the same.

Trombones sitting in the rear

So loudly annoy

But better than in the front


Violas why can’t you count?

We follow they say

You must cue us for safety


Clarinets’ arpeggios

Flying everyw...

April 20, 2011

Today's Composers Datebook featured an instrument that is not particularly well-known, but important to any discussion of the music of Olivier Messiaen, whose music UMWO is currently working on.

Composers Datebook Audio-4/20/2011

The Ondes Martenot

Today in 1928, a French musician and inventor named Maurice Martenot gave the first public demonstration of a strange, new electronic instrume...

April 10, 2011

See the text and audio link from today's Composers Datebook that highlights Giannini's Symphony No. 3 for band.

Composers Datebook Audio: April 10, 2011

On today's date in 1959, the Duke University Band under its conductor, Paul Bryan, gave the official premiere performance of a new work they had commissioned: the Symphony No. 3 for concert band by the American composer, Vittorio Giannin...

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September 10, 2018

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