Stained Glass is an absolute classic for percussion that has become a staple in the repertoire. Cast in three continuous movements – Foyers, Cathedrals and Suncatchers – the piece was inspired by the beauty and color of stained glass and the various places you might find it. This new 25th anniversary edition features a full-cover cover, enlarged score and parts, improved page turns in all parts, fortified bass marimba notes, clarified pedalings, as well as recollections from Douglas Wolf who commissioned the piece and original manuscript sketches from David Gillingham.
Genre: Percussion Ensemble | # of Players: 11 + piano
Level: Difficult | Duration: 10:30
Percussion 1 (Bells, Xylophone)
Percussion 2 (Crotales [upper octave], Bells, 2 small pails of water for submerging Crotales)
Percussion 3 (Chimes, Anvil)
Percussion 4 (4-octave Marimba)
Percussion 5 (4-octave Marimba)
Percussion 6 (5-octave Marimba)
Percussion 7 (3-octave Vibraphone, Suspended Cymbal, 2 Crystal Glasses)
Percussion 8 (3-octave Vibraphone, Suspended Cymbal, Crash Cymbals, 2 Crystal Glasses)
Percussion 9 (Concert Bass Drum, Large Tam-Tam, Temple Blocks)
Percussion 10 (4 LowConcert Toms, 5 Roto-Toms, F# Crotale, Triangle)
Percussion 11 (5 Timpani)
NOTE ABOUT THE 25th ANNIVERSARY EDITION
Originally written in 1990 and 1991, Stained Glass was not published with C. Alan Publications until 1994, thus the 25th Anniversary Edition in 2019. After the piece’s premiere in May 1991 and PASIC performance in November 1991, the piece catapulted into the spotlight and captured the hearts of percussion ensembles around the world. It has influenced countless composers and compositions for the large percussion ensemble genre and has found its way onto the marching field in arrangements for dozens of marching bands and drum corps.
As such, great care has been taken with this special 25th Anniversary Edition: 1) to produce an aesthetically beautiful score to match the equally beautiful music, 2) to clean up some errors from the original publication, 3) to provide more background information about the creation of the piece from David Gillingham and Douglas Wolf, who commissioned it, and 4) to simply celebrate a piece that is so important in our repertoire.
Here are some of the improvements that have been made to the published score and parts:
• Full-color cover
• Paper size for score & parts increased to 9”x12”
• Improved page turns in all parts
• Greater attention to detail in music engraving
• Bass marimba notes fortified
• Pedaling clarified in Piano & Vibraphones
• Simplified note durations in Bells & Crotales
• 8va indications added occasionally to reduce ledger lines
NOTES FROM DAVID GILLINGHAM
Stained Glass is a work for percussion ensemble inspired by the beauty and color of stained glass. The work is cast in three continuous movements. The first movement, Foyers, is so named because of its reference to the many variations of stained glass found in the entrances of dwellings. As doorways lead to main living areas of homes, so does this movement serve as a sort of “prelude” leading to the other movements. Entrances bid a sort of continual welcome and musically, this movement suggests this ongoing “openness.” Even the main theme in the xylophone and piano reflects an “open tonality” with its whole-tone patterns. Interspersed are passages between crotales and chimes, which allude to wind chimes and doorbells found in many foyers. The listener must bear in mind, however, that though these colorful stained glass foyers suggest continual welcome, they also hold an uncertainty as to where they will lead us. The tritone motive in the bass line, the whole-tone patterns and the dominant seventh at the close of the movement are all collaborators in this “uncertainty.” The movement closes with an interplay of whole-tone patterns between bells, crotales and chimes, which dies away leaving only a pedal “D” in the timpani.
The second movement bears the title Cathedrals and seeks to create the mysteriousness and grandeur of the many great cathedrals of the world, which are laden with a multitude of stained glass. The movement begins with a counterpoint of pealing church bells (chimes), which becomes very intense and then fades into the radiant tones of crystal glasses. Emerging underneath the texture of crystal glasses are organ-like strains in the marimbas, which may remind the listener of the typical harmonic successions that flourished during the Renaissance. Following are lines in chant style stated by a choir of marimbas, accompanied by a “dreamy” ostinato in the piano. Antiphonal strains between the marimbas pursue and the movement drifts into a mysterious ostinato underscored by sustained chordal motives centering around the key of C-major. The final movement, Sun Catchers, begins joyously in the bright key of E-major. If one can imagine all the radiant colors that are reflected by a variety of multi-colored sun catchers, a mindset for this movement can be achieved. The movement begins with a vivacious theme in the E-lydian mode stated by piano and xylophone and accompanied by bells, marimbas and vibraphones. There is a second statement of the theme, now in B-flat Lydian. Accompanied by harp-like arpeggiation in the piano, a second chorale-like theme follows. This segues into a fugal exposition between timpani, roto-toms and temple blocks utilizing motives from the primary theme. Once this counterpoint is in motion, the marimbas and xylophone begin alluding to fragments of the primary theme, which gathers texture and intensity and leads to a return of the primary theme. Another fugal exposition follows with xylophone, marimba and vibraphone sharing the action accompanied by an ostinato between timpani and triangle. The fugal motive, based again on the primary theme, transforms into an ostinato pattern which in turn accompanies another statement of the secondary theme in C-major. An uplifting and driving coda culminates the work.