Petite Overture by Brett Abigaña

June 1, 2016  |   Posted In

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By Brett Abigaña

Petite Overture was completed in 2009 at the request of the Logan High School Wind Symphony under Mr. Ramiro Barrera. It was originally composed as the fourth movement of my string quartet, Une Grande Messe in which each of the five movements conforms to the words of the Mass Ordinary: Kyrie Eleison, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei, respectively. The opening words to this movement, “Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth” are implied by the first few measures of the piccolo, flute, and 1st clarinet. The words of the rest of the hymn inform the rest of the movement.

In addition the verbal implications, there is a strong harmonic scheme at work in this piece. The piece opens with a Major triad with another fifth added below the root. This is reminiscent of organum, but is also a reference to Aaron Copland who used this sonority often in his ballets and symphonies. As the work progresses, less emphasis is put on the fifth and more is put on the interval of a third, which often guides modulation, melodic invention, and in some cases, rhythmic deletion. In this way, the fifth determines tonality, while the third influences and determines harmonic motion, turning the traditional tonal system around.

In 2009, after its premiere at the WASBE Conference in Cincinnati, British conductor and wind band authority Timothy Reynish named it one of the best pieces for wind band of the year, and subsequently named Brett Abigaña as one of the world’s top 11 composers for wind band.

Duration: 3 minutes
Grade Level: 5

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Additional information

Weight .1 lbs
Dimensions 0.004 x 11 x 17 in

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