First Suite For Band is a four movement work based on three tone poem-like movements and a summation finale. The first three movements each express feelings that are invoked by the theme of the subject title. These subjects are stated musically within each movement and again in the successive movements, both directly as well as inter-twined within the subject theme. The Finale brings all of the subject themes together into an energetic conclusion.
I. The Dawn: The sun rises majestically over the horizon, casting its brilliant glow onto an awaking world. A rush of movement confirms this as creatures, great and small, stir to a new day of life. Even the plants turn towards the warming sunlight as if in a lifting of arms in praise to the Creator of Life.
II. Simple Love: The feeling of love can be shared between two people in ways as simple as exchanging glances, hugs and speaking kind words. The theme is a simple one, basic, almost folk ballad-like. And yet it grows rich and mellow, glowing, stated first as a solo and then in duet, interchanging parts and then in chorus as together the couple walk off holding hands.
The clarinet solo in "Simple Love" would is Gary's daughter's.
III. The Storm: This movement is divided into three distinct sections. Each project an image before, during and after the ensuing chaos.
* Summer Day: Imagine a southern summer day, sweltering hot, scorching to the point that even the leaves on the trees cry out for relief. A sad spiritual is heard in the distance, grows to a crescendo and then fads again as dark clouds gather on the horizon. http://www.garritan.com/mp3/gb-TheStorm.mp3
* The Storm: A fanfare heralds the approaching storm, moving in its relentless might, with the only certainty being its violent uncertainty. Underlying rhythm and theme move in unsteady relationship to one another. Lightening flashes, thunder roars and the fury of the storm is here. For an odd moment a whimsical melody breaks through the din only to be beaten down again by the driving wind and rain. The storm eventually runs its course, moving on as dispassionately as it arrived.
* Aftermath: All of nature breaths a sigh of relief and offers a prayer of thanksgiving for the life giving water that remains behind. The opening theme is restated under the choral theme as the music reaches its conclusion.
IV. Finale: A rousing fanfare provides the opening from which follows the themes and variations from the three preceding movements. A lively entrance ensues. A dance begins, oddly enough, with a statement out of the depths of the storm. It develops into in the form of a tarantella underlying at first the basic theme of Simple Love presented in half time and then again in a grand and jubilant chorus. The fanfare is restated and the work reaches an exciting conclusion.
We do not get very many realizations for concert band and this is a real treat. I am very impressed. This is excellent music and a very refreshing use of the libraries in a different genre. A huge untertaking that is very well written and produced.
Thanks Gary for sharing this with us.