Whether it’s the three blind mice, the three wise men, the three musketeers, or the Powerpuff girls, it’s hard to deny that some of the best things come in threes. Which is why on 3/3, the CKCB will be performing our March concert!
Every piece has a relation to the number three, perhaps immediately obvious, perhaps not. It will be part of the journey you can go on as an audience member.
Vaclav Nelhybel wrote “Trittico” in 1963, composed for director William Revelli and was first performed in 1964 in Ann Arbor by the Symphonic Band at the University of Michigan. As you may guess, there are three movements to the piece, the third movement echoing and building on the first movement. Their character is
brilliantly forward moving and energetic; the main theme of the first movement reappears in the culmination point of the third movement and the instrumentation of these two movements are identical, with each type of instrument being used in a similar fashion. While very dissonant, the work is essentially a joyous, raucous. The second movement is a dramatic, slower piece, featuring our excellent percussion section, a brave group willing to run around behind the band to whatever timpani or bell requires their attention.
“Trittico” can be thought of as a triptych, the sort that might dignify an altar, ornate and colorful, and contains many of the themes that thread throughout Nelhybel’s work.
A prolific composer of the 20th century, this Czech-American composer wrote many, many works for student orchestras and bands. At times his style may sound similar to that of Bela Bartok, at others much like Dmitri Shostakovich, who you heard at our winter concert, but in the end, his style is always uniquely his own. Primitive, driving, repeated rhythms, heavy use of brass and percussion, and deceptively simple.
In an interview before his death, Nelhybel was asked, “What do you expect of the audience that comes to hear the music of Vaclav Nelhybel?” His response was that he doesn’t think of the audience when he’s composing. Instead, he said, “to compose music is the best means to manifest my existence as human being.”
We are both thinking of you, the audience, in our performance of Trittico, and hoping to manifest some aspect of our existence as humans in our playing of the pieces for you.
This is a brief look at the world of threes that will be forthcoming on March 3rd, 2019 at 3pm. Look to the CKCB blog as the weeks pass for another glimpse at our repertoire. In the meantime, you can look at our Instagram and Facebook for photos and other updates!