‘Windworks’ features works drawn from opera and the Olympics
Dabbling in the music of four centuries, Purdue Bands’ "Windworks" concert on Sunday, Feb. 18, will explore everything from Renaissance works to the operatic writings of 19th century German composer Richard Wagner and 20th century pieces by noted film composer John Williams.
The free concert is set for 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Long Center, 111 N. Sixth St.
Short programs by three different ensembles - University Concert Band, Collegiate Band and Varsity Band -fill the varied program.
Fans of John Williams' movie music, from such films as Star Wars, will hear familiar musical lines in Williams’ "Symphonic Marches" being performed by Collegiate Band, under the direction of associate professor of bands William D. Kisinger.
The march medley includes themes from Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark along with the "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" Williams composed for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The orchestration for the medley was crafted by Paul Lavender, vice president of Hal Leonard Music Publishing and father of Eric Lavender, a cornet player with University Concert Band.
Collegiate Band will also sample music of the Renaissance era with "Courtly
Airs and Dances" and a "Toccata" by Italian composer Girolamo
Frescobaldi. Varsity Band, under the direction of assistant professor of bands
Pamela J. Nave, revisits the 20th century with such pieces as
"On the Wings of the Chosen" by Roland Barrett and "Silvercrest" by James Swearingen.
Legendary opera composer Richard Wagner will be saluted by University Concert Band with its presentation of "Ride of the Valkyries" from Die Walkure. Wagner felt operatic music should reinforce the opera’s dramatic content. "He developed the use of the leitmotiv or leading motif as a principle of musical unity. His dramatic musical structure depended on the interweaving of melodies, or fragments of melody, associated with characters, incidents or ideas in the drama," says David A. Leppla, University Concert Band director and head of Purdue University Bands.
In "Ride of the Valkyries" the audience hears, first in the horns and trombones, and later in the entire brass section, the leitmotiv Wagner created for the Valkyeries return from the battlefield. Even those unfamiliar with the opera know this group of legendary woman by its most famous member - Bruennhilde. As the "fat lady" who has to sing for the opera to be over, she’s been the focus of many comedy sketches and television commercials.
Other featured works by University Concert band include "Above and Beyond" by John Tatgenhorst, "British Eighth" by Zo Elliott and "New York: 1927" by Warren Barker.
University Concert, Collegiate and Varsity Bands will next be featured in concert at the Purdue Bands Showcase April 21-22.