Meditations on the Writings of Vasily Kandinsky

Title: Meditations on the Writings of Vasily Kandinsky
Date of Composition: Copyright © 1996 Daniel Bukvich
Level of Difficulty: University/Professional
(fairly sophisticated piece; need professional level tuba player; all players use the same score - requires that conductor and players spend a good deal of time studying the score; requires transpositions and an understanding of famous pieces of 20th century music like “In C”)
Instrumentation: Wind Ensemble
Ensemble Set-up: Bukvich Symphonic Band Diagram
Performance Time: 20:15
Publisher: Manuscript - download a PDF file of this piece from the link under "Sketches" below.
Program Notes:

Meditations on the Writings of Vasily Kandinsky” for solo tuba, winds and percussion was composed in January 1996 for tuba soloist Jeffrey Funderburk. The writings used in “Meditations” are quotes that refer to Kandinsky’s aural perception of visual color; for example: “Vermilion sounds like the tuba with interjections of powerful drum beats.” Each of the five colors (or movements, in musical terms) in “Meditations” attempts to capture the spirit of Kandinsky’s writing and painting, not only musically but visually as well, for the score and notation are as important as the sound they represent.

All players in the ensemble (including the tuba soloist) read copies of the same score and in many instances the same line or staff of music. Harmonies result because of the different keys that the instruments are built to play in. The American jazz composer Duke Ellington experimented with this concept briefly in the early 1950s. The score also employs color notation, canon, table music (reading music “upside-down”), reading music backwards, and the concepts of random downbeats and ad libitum repeats first used by Terry Riley in the famous minimalistic piece In C (1963).

Sketches: Download the score in PDF format (6,063 K)
  • You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to view and print the score. It is freely available at Adobe's web site.
Recordings: Details about recording(s):
  • Performer(s): Northern Iowa Wind Symphony
  • Conductor: Ronald Johnson
  • Soloists: Jeffry Funderburk, tuba
  • Recording engineer(s): Recording, Mark Custom Recording Service, Inc.

File(s) available:

Recording(s) posted: [2002-03-08 00:00:00]

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