Joy Revisited for concert band by Frank Ticheli. Hear streaming audio on this page. Suitable for high school through college bands, and community bands, 3 1/2 minutes duration, Grade 3 (previously graded as 4, but found to be only grade 3).
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Performance by USC Thornton Wind Ensemble, reading session conducted by the composer.
Above all, Joy Revisited is an expression of its namesake: simple, unabashed joy.
The main melody and overall mood of the work (and its companion piece, Joy) were inspired by a signal event: the birth of our first child. The intense feelings that any father would likely feel on such a day were, in my case, accompanied by a simple little tune which grabbed hold of me in the hours preceding her birth, and refused to let go throughout the day and many days thereafter. Indeed, until I jotted it down in my sketchbook, it did not release its grip.
Seven years and two children later, I stumbled upon that old sketch and discovered (or rediscovered) that it would serve perfectly as the foundation for a joy-filled concert band overture.
About Joy and Joy Revisited
Joy Revisited, and its companion piece, Joy, are the results of an experiment I have been wanting to try for many years: the creation of two works using the same general melodic,, and expressive content. In other words, I endeavored to compose un-identical twins, two sides of the same coin - but with one major distinction: Joy was created with young players in mind, while Joy Revisited was aimed at more advanced players.
Thus, Joy Revisited is somewhat longer, more technically demanding, and develops ideas further than its companion. Where Joy sounds a dominant chord, Joy Revisited elaborates upon that chord with a flourish of 16th-notes. While Joy moves at a bright tempo and is centered around Bb, Joy Revisited moves even faster, and is centered around Eb, extending the register of the instruments upwards by a perfect fourth.
Despite these and many more differences between the two works, both come from the same essential cut of cloth, both were composed more or less simultaneously, and both were born out of the same source of inspiration. In short, Joy and Joy Revisited serve as two expressions of the feelings experienced by one expectant father (who happens also to be a composer) on one wonderfully anxious and exciting day.
BASIC FORMAL PLAN:
Main Theme: mm. 1-13 Eb Mixolydian ...Eb Major
Episode 1: mm. 14-21 Eb Major
Development of Main theme: mm. 22-37 Db Mixolydian ...Bb Major ...G Major ...G minor
Episode 2: mm. 38-47 Eb Mixolydian ...V7 of Bb
Theme 2 (lyrical theme): mm. 48-58 Bb Mixolydian
Episode 3: mm. 59-70 Eb Major
Main theme, pointillistic: mm. 71-75 Eb Major
Episode 2 (extended): mm. 76-89 Eb Mixolydian ...V7 of Bb ...V7 of Eb
Main theme (Recapitulation): mm. 90-105 Eb Mixolydian ...Eb Major
Coda: mm. 106-113 Eb Major
Main Theme (mm. 1-13)
Built on a series of rising thirds, the main melody is stated in two parallel phrases, the second one being in imitation at the octave. Strive to keep the melody bright and lively.
A joyous outburst of sound follows (mm. 10-13), and is interrupted just before its cadence by a brief, unexpected silence. (It might be beneficial to discuss with students the use of silence as a dramatic compositional tool.)
Episode 1 (mm. 14-21)
Parallel rising tenths form this simple, tongue-in-cheek episode, which serves as a brief oasis between statements of the main theme. The accents are important here.The descending scale in measure 17 could be stated in an especially strong manner as a way of enhancing the humorous nature of the episode.
Development of Main Theme (mm. 22-37)
The main melody is developed, and put through a series of abrupt modulations. Beginning at measure 28, the melody's first two notes alone are used as a motive for imitation, first in G Major, then in G minor. Take care to balance equally all of the statements of this motive, and point out the importance of bringing out each entrance while backing away from the sustained portion of the note.
Episode 2 (mm. 38-47)
The music suddenly shifts to a staccato style as four-note scale patterns run in both ascending and descending directions. Note the use of hemiola in much of this section - the use of two-beat patterns separated by quarter-note rests, suggesting a 3/4 meter. Sometimes all of the parts conform to this pattern (mm. 38-39, 42-43), but on one occasion (mm. 40-41) the parts are in opposition to one another, some conforming to 3/4 while others suggest 4/4. These simple rhythmic techniques - hemiola and polymeter - help to keep the music alive and unpredictable, and they might serve as fun and interesting topics of discussion with students.
The music gathers strength, bursting out at measure 44 as the tonality shifts suddenly from Eb Mixolydian to F Major. Be sure that the accents are observed in the fanfare-like calls stated by the upper woodwinds, and answered by the alto saxophones and trumpets.
Theme 2 (mm. 48-58)
Once again, a new section ushers in a dramatic change of style, the tempo being slightly held back, the texture made calmer and more lyrical. Free, cantabile lines are passed from the flutes, to the horns, to the euphoniums, tubas, and bass clarinets, and finally to the trumpets. As an accompaniment, simple eighth-note patterns undulate in the woodwinds. Note the manner in which these patterns are offset against one another (e.g., mm. 51-53, clarinet pattern is offset by 2nd flute and first oboe) as a way of hiding the seams and enhancing the sense of continuous flow.
Episode 3 (mm. 59-70)
The music swells and accelerates back to the main tempo, ushering in the joyful third episode.
Main Theme, treated
pointillistically (mm. 71-75)
The main theme is recalled here, but now it is broken up into two-beat units and passed around the ensemble. The sound literally moves around the room, and each group of players should be balanced equally. The objectives here are to achieve sudden color contrasts, and to have fun doing it.
Episode 2, extended (mm. 76-89)
Episode 2 returns, at first as an exact repetition of itself; however, its tail is extended by four bars (mm. 86-89), allowing for a longer ritardando and diminuendo, as well as giving extra time for the music to make its way back to the home key.
Main Theme (mm. 90-105)
The main theme is the same as in the beginning.
Coda (mm. 106-113)
The timpanist should command the most attention at the coda, and none of the players should be timid in their interpretations of the crescendos, as well as the subito piano indication at measure 108. A final reminder of the main tune is shouted out in octaves, bringing the piece to an exultant conclusion.
1 Full Score
4 Flute 1
4 Flute 2
2 Oboe 1
2 Oboe 2
4 Bb Clarinet 1
4 Bb Clarinet 2
4 Bb Clarinet 3
3 Bb Bass Clarinet
1 Eb Contrabass Clarinet
2 Bassoon 1
2 Bassoon 2
3 Eb Alto Saxophone 1
3 Eb Alto Saxophone 2
2 Bb Tenor Saxophone
2 Eb Baritone Saxophone
3 Bb Trumpet 1
3 Bb Trumpet 2
3 Bb Trumpet 3
3 F Horn 1
3 F Horn 2
2 Trombone 1
3 Trombone 2
3 Trombone 3
3 Euphonium B.C.
2 Euphonium T.C.
3 Percussion 1
3 Percussion 2
3 Percussion 3
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