• Gunther Schuller
  • Diptych for Brass Quintet and Concert Band (1964)

  • Associated Music Publishers Inc (World)
  • concert band
  • Brass Quintet
  • 8 min

Programme Note

Composer Note:

Although the word DIPTYCH originally referred to two-panel altar paintings, it has in our century come to be used in a secular sense for two-part paintings or musical forms; especially if the material of the two parts is interrelated…. The two parts, one slow, the other fast, are played with only a slightly pause in between. The first part is essentially static, as compared to the more rhythmic second part, which experiences several stages of acceleration achieved by means of a device termed “metric modulation.” Both sections of the work are very much concerned with exploring (a) the rich sonority possibilities of the modern concert band in a truly contemporary language, and (b) the musical and sonoric relationships —through contrast as well as imitation —between the solo quintet and the band. In Part Two, the opening material is stated three times (almost in a Rondo form), but it leads to different conclusions each time, finally leading to a jazz-influenced climactic ending.

Diptych was commissioned by the New York Brass Quintet and premiered at Cornell University in March, 1964, by the Quintet and the Cornell Concert Band.

—Gunther Schuller