Scored for 11 players (brass quintet, wind quintet, percussion) Costumes of the Sky is a dramatic tone poem for chamber winds. A vivid tapestry of instrumental color that includes doubling winds (fl./alto fl.; ob./Eng. hn.; cl./bass cl.) piccolo trumpet, and a wide assortment of percussion instruments is at the heart of this celebratory work.
Genre: Orchestral Winds & Percussion | # of Players: 11
Level: 5 | Duration: 13:00
One on a part:
Flute + Alto Flute
Oboe + English Horn
Bb Clarinet + Bass Clarinet
C Trumpet 1 + C Piccolo Trumpet
C Trumpet 2
[Bell Tree, 4 Toms, Suspended Cymbal, Crotales, Marimba, Xylophone, Snare Drum, Hi-Hat, Splash Cymbal]
Tennessee’s first poet laureate, Clara Cox Epperson (1869-1937) was a popular writer of her time. Her poems, short stories, and feature articles appeared in many periodicals and newspapers, including Life magazine.
Epperson’s poem Costumes of the Sky is a celebration of nature that casts the celestial bodies into roles personifying the themes of renewal and rebirth. The sky, a compassionate presence sheltering the earth, “flings her canopy of stars over the suffering world” at day’s end, in preparation for a “restful, dreamful Night.” At dawn, the sky wakes the world with the “coming of her lover Sun” and the cycle begins anew.
Scored for wind quintet, brass quintet, and percussion, the musical material closely parallels the Epperson poem, with three sections representing evening, night, and dawn. After a dramatic introduction scored for the full ensemble, the first section--evening--features solos from each of the woodwinds over a harmonic accompaniment with constantly shifting tonal colors. Night, a blues section, features the brass quintet and then moves into a solo section for the alternate instruments of the wind quintet--alto flute, English horn, and bass clarinet. Dawn, the final section, is a celebratory dance alternating among winds, brass, and percussion. The music ends with a declamatory fanfare heralding the new beginning.