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Album No. 24 | Recorded 2004


Album Playlist


About the Album

“An emblem stands for something— it is a symbol.” - Aaron Copland

Aaron Copland provided the preceding definition in the preface of his masterpiece for concert band, Emblems. While Copland employs the definition to explain this work, it is a concept that has more global implications. In his preface Copland goes on to say that the word emblem suggests to him "...musical states of being: noble or aspirational feelings. playful or spirited feelings. The exact nature of these emblematic sounds must be determined for himself by each listener." For centuries, composers who have endeavored to convey concepts through music have been limited by one insurmountable fact: Music is a representational art form. Unless a listener is informed of the subject material of a com- position, either through a program or other visual stimulus, it is unlikely that he or she will discern any specific extra-musical message. This limitation, however, is also music's greatest asset as a genre. Unlike other more literal art forms that are designed to elicit specific responses, music allows for the most personal of reactions, a fact that Copland stressed in his efforts to educate audiences. According to Copland, "There is something about music that keeps its distance even at the moment that it engulfs us. It is at the same time outside and away from us and inside and part of us. In one sense it dwarfs us, and in another we master it. We are led on and on, and yet in some strange way we never lose control." In this sense, music is indeed the most emblematic of all the arts, the form that gives all of us the greatest freedom to decide what it "means."

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1-4. Vincent Persichetti: Symphony for Band (Symphony No. 6), Opus 69

1. Adagio; Allegro

2. Adagio sostenuto

3. Allegretto

4. Vivace

5. Andrea Gabrieli (trans. Ghedini): Aria della battaglia

6. Aaron Copland: Emblems

7. Henry Purcell and Steven Stucky: Funeral Music for Queen Mary

8-10. Paul Hindemith: Symphony in B-flat for Band

© 1951, 1979 Schott & Co (EAM)

8. Moderately fast, with vigor

9. Andantino grazioso

10. Fugue: Rather broad