After an ominous opening, The Falcon Ascending takes flight with a blazing syncopated theme that alternates between 3/4 and 2/4. A brief, lush chorale section contrasts the joyride that bookends it, with the piece finishing with the thrilling flight that started it all.
Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
Level: 4 | Duration: 5:00
Alto Saxophone 1
Alto Saxophone 2
F Horn 1
F Horn 2
Timpani (3 drums)
Percussion 1 (Crash Cymbals, Hi-Hat, Tambourine, Claves)
Percussion 2 (Suspended Cymbal, Triangle, Crash Cymbals)
Percussion 3 (Snare Drum, Bass Drum)
Spirited and expressive, The Falcon Ascending features a dark, brooding beginning, energetic main theme, reflective middle section, and a majestic finale. The work opens with a foreboding theme in the brass and alto saxophones. Out of this arises an energetic and rhythmically repeated motive. The first variation of the main theme is heard before breaking out in full in the brass. After a short development the work transitions into a more reflective section whose stately theme is first presented by a solo trumpet then taken up by the full ensemble. A variation of the energetic motive reappears and builds in intensity until the main theme breaks forth in the upper woodwinds, then escalates into the brass over a rhythmic groove in the percussion. A slightly faster variation of the theme bursts in, but this short bridge is cut off by the sudden return of the dark motive from the beginning. From this brooding music the stately theme reemerges, bringing the work to its bright and majestic conclusion. The Falcon Ascending was commissioned for the Edward Town Middle School Band by John Scime and Chris Peracciny, directors of band for the Niagara Wheatfield Central School District in Sanborn, NY.