Speaking of Beginnings for brass quintet Mvt.4


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brass quintet


This is one of the few pieces I have written in which I directly derived the title from the compositional process. I wrote the second movement first, beginning with a wedge-like figure that started with a compact chord and then blossomed out into a larger more resonant consistency. The first movement came next in line and, at least when I was writing it, it too started with a thinner texture and grew to become more full as the phrases progressed. Similar patterns emerged for the third and fourth movements, and so I contemplated calling the piece “Small beginnings.” However, I was uncomfortable with following the same model for every piece in the set, and decided on a more bombastic energetic opener to get things moving. The first movement then, (“Starts with a Bang”), essentially takes the process I describe above and retrogrades it; instead of growing from something small, it diminishes from something big. The second movement follows it directly (attacca) and so in the end, the first two movements may be seen as a single entity that may roughly be thought of as one big inverted swell, moving from big/rich to small/thin, back to big/rich.