Let the Good Times Roll (L'Apothéose de Berlioz) (2019)

for wind, brass and percussion

Dedicated to Christine Lucia

Publisher: Bardic Edition

Duration: 8 minutes

Première

First performance: Saturday 31 August 2019; Endler Hall, Stellenbosch, South Africa; University of Stellenbosch Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Rik Ghesquière (conductor)

Programme note

Given the often troubled times we live in, I wanted to write a piece that would lift our spirits and let us smile, and the Hector Berlioz anniversary that is being marked around the world this year gave me that opportunity. 'Apotheosis' is a theological concept which raises individuals to a godlike status, and is often found in 17th-century music where one composer would elevate another with a musical idea. For me Berlioz is one of the greatest 19th-century masters and his Grande Symphonie Funèbre et Triomphale is also the first major work for the military band or wind orchestra - the tradition in which my new piece is located. Two other composers provided input: Percy Grainger - his Lincolnshire Posy and other wind pieces contributed to the orchestration - and Stravinsky. The material itself is drawn from the Central African polyphonists - music for horn ensembles and voices - and as a result the piece is both cyclic and (often) pentatonic. And in the spirit of upliftment I used everything except perhaps the kitchen sink. It is dedicated to Christine Lucia. It has a playing time of around 8 minutes. (MB)

Category

Orchestral works