Utilizing Jimmy Page's electric guitar solo from "Heartbreaker," McCarthy has written an exciting and dramatic piece for concert band (originally for full orchestra. The composer states, "It seemed to me that all the power of Led Zeppelin was certainly in good company with a full-sized symphony orchestra-witness Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring.' Could any rock band create that much excitement?"
Genre: Band | # of Players: Standard
Level: 4 | Duration: 7:05
Clarinet in Bb 1/2
Clarinet in Bb 3
Horn in F 1/2
Horn in F 3
Trumpet in Bb 1/2
Trumpet in Bb 3
Percussion 1 (suspended cymbal, 4 tom-toms, snare drum, rain stick, claves, bongos)
Percussion 2 (suspended cymbal, temple blocks, snare drum, triangle, crash cymbals, tambourine)
Percussion 3 (maracas/shakers, crash cymbals, suspended cymbal, large tam-tam, bass drum)
Percussion 4 (xylophone, 5-octave marimba, vibraphone, bass drum, large tam-tam, chimes)
CD or Transcribed Electric Guitar Solo
The Led Page is a symphonic band adaptation of my orchestral work, Turn the Page. The writing of Turn the Page was the result of my association with conductor and good friend Jung Ho Pak (New Haven Symphony and World Youth Symphony Orchestras). Maestro Pak and I met at The Interlochen Arts Camp where we are both faculty and we collaborate on the orchestra reading project with the student composers.
Our conversations over the years have included the future of the orchestra and new orchestral music in our society. Audiences have lost a great deal of context with new music over the past 90 years, in my opinion, and new music has remained an anomaly for many listeners.
So when I decided to write Jung Ho an orchestra piece, I knew it had to be music that meant something to listeners - something that would have cultural context to an audience and yet be challenging and interesting to play. And a piece that would be played more than just once.
I seek a certain drama and excitement in my music. Perhaps that is why I am so attracted to composers like Mahler, Stravinky, and Daugherty. But I also have a diverse listening palate having played big band jazz as a lead trumpet player and funk as a synthesizer player.
Often when I travel, especially on long driving trips, I will listen to old "art-rock" of bands such as Yes, Genesis, and Led Zeppelin. One of my favorite tunes is "Heartbreaker" from the album "Led Zeppelin II." It has a very unusual guitar solo in the middle of the song - Unusual, because the band stops playing and Jimmy Page takes a motivically oriented solo, much like a cadenza in a concerto. It was the first time anything like that was ever done in that genre and was really the beginning of guitarists becoming virtuosos on their instruments. Actually, that solo had all the fire of a Tchaikovsky or Mendelssohn concerto cadenza.
Hence, the idea came to be to combine the suggestion of this solo with orchestra and, later, to use an electric guitar or CD recording of the actual solo with the orchestra. It seemed to me that all the power of Led Zeppelin was certainly in good company with a full-sized symphony orchestra—witness Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring." Could any rock band create that much excitement?