Status: Usually despatched within 7 working days
Subtitle: from Islas y Montañas
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes (New York)
Shelley Hanson originally composed Islas y Montañas for orchestra. "Tocata" is the first movement and functions as a fanfare or introduction. It features the entire ensemble clapping rhythmic patterns based on the Cuban 3/2-clave rhythm. It's a great way to get the crowd ready for "La Tumba de Alejandro Garcia Caturla," originally the fourth movement from Islas y Montañas. It is beautifully transcribed here for concert band. It is a musical rumination about Cuban composer Alejandro Garcia Caturla (1906-1940) who studied with Nadia Boulanger but was later assassinated while presiding as a judge. It opens with a haunting English horn cadenza (alternate cueing provided) followed by harmonic shifts, intense soli writing and driving rhythms that sweep through the ensemble.
The score contains two distinctly different compositions; an exercise in pure thythm and a memorial to a Cuban composer. The first selection, Tocata, layers various rhythmic figures and timbres in the development of an exciting excursion into Cuban rhythms. In addition to a variety of Latin percussion instruments, other band members contribute by stomping the feet and clapping the hands, tapping stands with pencils, and rattling house and car keys. These various sounds are layered into ten or more separate choirs, and the timbres not only combine to create new textures, but the physical space and direction are important effects as well.
La Tumba uses standard band instrumentation to generate polychordal and polyrhythmic effects. The piece opens in a slow, sombre mood, and the chant-like texture has harmonies expanded with added major seconds. The concluding section is more optimistic as the theme takes on an energetic, syncopated style.