• André Previn
  • Music for Wind Orchestra (No Strings Attached) (2014)

  • G Schirmer Inc (World)
  • 4(2pic).4+ca.4(Ebcl:bcl).4(cbn).2asx.tsx.barsx/

Programme Note

  • MOLA Errata List:
    download errata
    download PDFPost-premiere errata, October 22 2014


     Music for Wind Orchestra (No Strings Attached) is in three movements marked – fast, slow, fast. In addition to these minimal directions for tempo, Previn has provided a score with great room for interpretation of dynamics, articulations and phrasing. This complements the gestures in the music itself, as the performers are given the freedom to discover the arcs and connection within the piece.
     The first movement, in a three part A- B A’ form, opens boldly with a starter’s pistol of percussion followed by a sound wall of formidable bitonal chords. This dense brilliance leads into transparent yet energetic phrases of melody – lyrical but often gymnastic – supported by the major 7th and 9th chords, altered chromatically, which will be a harmonic base tint for the piece. A shadow of sonata form is recognized as an exact recapitulation brings back the opening heraldic music, ending then with brass hammers in a final cadence
     The second movement begins as dark and reflective as the first movement began brilliantly and impetuously. This slow second is the soloist’s movement with every voice getting a moment to comment in miniature ariettas. Surprise measures of quasi-aleatoric trumpet and clarinet duet exclamations serve as the center point of this meandering movement. The music wanders into the distance as the trumpet asks a fading question.
     The third movement is all dance and capriciousness. Mixed meters, syncopations, gestural glissandos and slides call the players and listener to be free and to dance. A nod to the British band tradition is found in a rugged country dance middle passage – done up right with a modal melody in striding low brass. It all comes to a final conclusion with a B major chord – a brilliant half step up from the oft used band key of B-flat. In that half step rise Previn concludes his own contribution by lifting up the wind orchestra by an inspired step.

— Charles Peltz

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