Gustav Holst's In The Bleak Mid-Summer

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Opening with “In The Bleak Mid-Winter (1908),” written by Gustav Holst (1874-1934) and arranged by Robert W. Smith taken from the second movement of The Holst Winter Suite, The USA Symphony Band introduced the sacred piece in grandiose fashion. Beginning softly, the piece quickly continued to build and gradually got louder through the use of the crashing of cymbals, horns, trombones, a gong, mallet percussion (bells, steel mallets), wind chimes, trumpets, oboes, clarinets, bassoon, saxophones, flutes, and tubas. As the piece progressed, it became more dramatic. Carrying the energy slowly up and down, featuring a haunting solo from the clarinetist, followed by the French horns, and the euphoniums. As the sound begins to shift slightly, you can hear the layering of notes, picking out the different types of homophony within the layers, driving the emotional impact of the song as they begin to build in volume. A new rhythmic idea emerged while the tune changed tempo and dynamics while all of the parts move together. This piece reaches a stunning climax/grows to loud climax, swells in dynamics before revisiting the beginning of the piece (restatement) until the wind chimes…show more content…
The distribution of the notes among the instruments employed both harmonious and dissonant chords/sounds, which shared similar characteristics to “The Bells of Notre Dame” by Alan Menken off The Hunchback of Notre Dame soundtrack. As the clarinets entered, the harpist plucked her strings (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) creating a sound which resembled a clock striking midnight. Beginning in very soft/pianissimo, there is a shift, one instrument color flowing into another. The piece continued with a slow build of chimes, mallet percussion (bells, steel mallets), xylophone, marimba, clarinets, flutes, and horns which creates a bright tone/creating a bright

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