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Spring

Overture for wind orchestra
Johan de Meij
 
 

The overture recounts the magical re-awakening of spring’s arrival in Sweden. After a long and dark winter, creatures great and small join Swedes desperately longing for the first rays of warming sunshine.

A melancholic, haunting song is first heard from afar (När som jag var på mitt adertonde år – ‘As I was on my 18th year’). Various instruments from different locations in the concert hall are echoing the solitary female voice. The aching, soulful melody gradually transforms to a polka-like variant that builds to the joyful, optimistic Spring main theme. Creatures venture out from a long hibernation, people emerge from their homes to celebrate, and the main theme converts again into an even more jubilant, fast dance-like scene. At this point, another well-known Swedish folksong appears as a counter melody (Ack Värmeland du sköna – ‘Oh Värmland Thou Art Beautiful’) thematically supporting the giddy celebrants. It is first introduced by a brass quartet (2 cornets, alto horn & euphonium) and crescendos into the full, satisfying sounds of complete brass choir.

Johan de Meij, December 2009

Notes on instrumentation and special effects:
* The locations of the female singer and the echoing instruments may vary, depending on the possibilities of the concert venue;
* If no alto horn is available, use a regular French horn [F]
* The use of wine glasses: tune glasses to concert pitch E-flat by adding or taking out water, and rub the rim with wet fingertip. Thin glasses or crystal glasses give the best result;
* Plastic hose: available in every toyshop. Swing around in the air to create sound; with a faster spin, the pitch will go up.

Instrumentation
Overture for Wind Orchestra [AM 113]
1. Piccolo (Flute 3)
8. Flutes 1, 2
2. Oboe 1, 2
1. English Horn (F)
2. Bassoons 1, 2
1. Eb Clarinet
5. Bb Clarinet 1
5. Bb Clarinet 2
5. Bb Clarinet 3
2. Bb Bass Clarinet
2. Eb Alto Sax 1
2. Eb Alto Sax 2
2. Bb Tenor Sax
1. Eb Baritone Sax
1. Female Voice
3. F Horn 1, 3
3. F Horn 2, 4
4. Bb Cornet 1, 2
3. Bb Trumpet 1
3. Bb Trumpet 2
2. Trombone 1 (C)
2. Trombone 2 (C)
2. Trombone 3 (C)
2. Baritone/Euphonium B.C. (C)
2. Baritone/Euphonium T.C. (Bb)
4. Basses (C)
1. Double Bass
1. Harp
2. Mallets 1
2. Mallets 2
1. Timpani
4. Percussion 1, 2

Additional Parts (for European countries only)
2. Eb Horn 1, 3
2. Eb Horn 2, 4
1. Bb Trombone 1 (T.C.)
1. Bb Trombone 2 (T.C.)
1. Bb Trombone 3 (T.C.)
2. Bb Baritone/Euph. (B.C.)
1. Eb Bass Tuba (T.C.)
1. Eb Bass Tuba (B.C.)
1. Bb Bass Tuba (T.C.)
2. Bb Bass Tuba (B.C.)