Flute(2), Oboe(2), Clarinet(2), Bassoon(2), French Horn(3), Trumpet(2), Trombone(2), Tuba, Percussion(3), Timpani, Piano, Harp, Strings(5)
For Music Battle #9, for team "Transcendence" http://musescore.com/groups/contests/discuss/185884
This is an original neo-romantic overture I put together in a week for the aforementioned contest. In order to represent transcendence, I tried to represent an ascension of some sort - an ascension into a state of enlightenment or inspiration, or even into Heaven following death. It is mostly complete, but I will make a few small revisions soon (especially to the percussion, piano, and harp parts). Following those revisions, I hope to make a well-mixed audio file with a nice soundfont, to which I will post a link. Thanks for checking this out, and enjoy!
I intend to eventually rework this into the final movement of a three part suite loosely based on Dante's Divine Comedy, with movements for Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, or Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven. The first and second movements are in their early stages.
A brief musical analysis:
The piece begins with a low Db in the contrabassoon, tuba, cellos, and basses, immediately establishing the root. Then, a lone horn introduces the theme and finishes the phrase on a C, creating dissonance with the pedal Db before it is drowned out by fortissimo Ab chords in the rest of the orchestra. The 2/4 measure allows the drone to return immediately, and the horn again plays the theme, this time ending on an Ab, and the fortissimo chords return.
The violins join in with high tremolos as the horns, oboe, and flute have counterpoint for a few measures. The brass and percussion return with fortissimo Ab chords, but the woodwinds continue relentlessly. Woodwinds slowly build on top of each other, alternating between Db and Ab chords until a ritardando and finally landing on a Db chord followed by a brass fanfare.
The tempo picks up slightly as the first violins take over the theme and the key changes from Db to Gb (a perfect cadence from the previous Db chord). The other strings provide harmony as the oboes play a countermelody and the flutes and harp play an ostinato. The piece finally uses a clear chord structure: I-iii-IV-V. Note that the ostinato centers around the root for three measures despite the chord changes, creating dissonance, such as a Gb over a Bb minor chord.
The first trumpet and horn play the melody over a forte brass choir. The chord structure is the same, although the bass line is simplified into descending whole notes in octaves. The violins play the ostinato from earlier this section. The brass die out as the rest of the strings come in, using the extra two beats in the 6/4 measure to modulate up a half step.
The first violins, first flute, first oboe, and first clarinet carry a slightly modified version of the theme as the rest of the woodwinds and strings hold out chords (using the same chord structure as before). The snare drum provides a strict sense of rhythm as the piece nears the climax.
The section repeats, but the brass come in almost instantly, again playing fortissimo chords (this time G chords). The brass choir from the A section returns, transposed to G, but all the winds quickly die out. The previous chord structure is abandoned in lieu of alternating between G and D. The strings take over and modulate from D to E, setting up a resolution to A and the final key change of the piece.
The whole orchestra comes in again as the key moves up a whole step. This section is essentially a recap, with the ostinato (flutes, clarinet, glockenspiel, piano, harp), the original theme (bass clarinet, bassoons, trombones, tuba, cellos, basses), chords (first and second horns, trumpets, violins, violas), and even a new countermelody (oboe, third-sixth horns). The chords alternate between A and E. After four measures, all parts except the ostinato switch to whole notes, as a dramatic forte piano and perfect cadence close out the piece.