The Greatest of These is a warm, beautiful work that features Gillingham's colorful scoring. It is a work that embodies love, pure and true.
Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
Level: 3 | Duration: 5:15
B-flat Clarinet 1
B-flat Clarinet 2
B-flat Clarinet 3
Alto Saxophone 1
Alto Saxophone 2
B-flat Trumpet 1
B-flat Trumpet 2
B-flat Trumpet 3
F Horn 1
F Horn 2
Timpani (4 drums)
Percussion 1: Bells
Percussion 2: Vibraphone
Percussion 3: Bell Tree, Suspended Cymbal [shared], Marimba (5-oct.)
Percussion 4: Wind Chimes, Crash Cymbals [shared], Suspended Cymbal [shared]
Percussion 5: 2 Finger Cymbals, Bass Drum, Crash Cymbals [shared]
The Greatest of These was commissioned by the Byron Center Band Program in Byron Center, Michigan, in honor of their Middle School Band Director Dave Klein.
The title of the work is taken from one of the most profound verses from the Bible, 1st Corinthians, 13th chapter, verse 8-13:
“Love never ends; as for prophecy, it will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. And now faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
We have often been told that love, in its many forms, is the answer. How different this world would be if all of our actions were guided by love! As a music teacher, Dave Klein loved his students, loved teaching them, and loved music. This work seeks to pay tribute to the love that Dave manifested as a teacher and as a person.
The music unfolds as follows: after a short introduction, a solo flute sings a warm melody of love, reflection and nostalgia in F major. The flute is joined by the full ensemble leading to a bridge modulating to E-flat major and concluding the theme. A short interlude follows that develops the opening notes of the theme, winding through D-flat and A-flat major and returning to E-flat. A second interlude ensues beginning with the solo flute playing a variation of theme in its upper register. The texture thickens with all flutes, alto sax, and oboe on the melody along with the full ensemble leading to a modulation to A-flat major. The bridge of the main theme ensues and modulates a final time into the rich glory of D-flat major where the last part of the theme reaches a climax on an E-flat ninth chord. The music subsides, giving way to the solo flute playing the last phrase of the theme. A coda utilizing the opening motive of the theme brings the work to a quiet and calm closure.