The Wrath of Other Winds

for Wind Ensemble

William Kraft

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Quick Overview

This work was commissioned by the U.S. Air Force Band for premiere at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference, at Kennedy Center, November 5, 1986. It is written with five soloists.

The instrumentation, besides the five percussionists, is: 4 flutes (all doubling piccolo), 2 oboes, english horn, E-flat clarinet, 16 B-flat clarinets, contralto clarinet, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 2 alto saxophones, 1 tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, 5 horns, 8 trumpets or cornets, 4 trombones, 2 euphoniums, 4 tubas, 3 or more celli, 1 or more strings bass(es), piano doubling celeste, harp, and 6 offstage crotal players (these are optional).
The instruments for the solo percussionists are:
Player 1: 5 timpani, 2 suspended cymbals and 5 crotales
Player 2: 5 graduated drums; marimba; and large tam-tam
Player 3: leather pad; bass drum; vibraphone; pair of small cymbals; 5 nipple gongs and 1 crotal
Player 4: 5 temple bells; 2 pairs of cymbals; large suspended cymbal; 5 brake drums; vibraphone and glockenspiel.
Player 5: 2 snare drums; 5 pieces of lead pipe; 4 graduated cymbals; 1 pair of cymbals; 5 mixed drums; vibraphone, to be shared with Player 4 and played from the back side (--of the vibraphones, that is! Not of the player!); xylophone and chimes.

The first movement is a bombastic interplay between the Band and the soloists, with a quiet interlude that I think has some rather beautiful moments and becomes more involved as time goes on, returning to the bombastic interplay. It is during this movement that we have the crotales being bowed and spread around the auditorium. I always liked the idea of having the sound swirl around the audience, and for that reason the offstage crotales are doubled by the players on stage.

The second movement is for percussion alone, and is written so that they will function without a conductor, although he may assist at moments. While the first movement is written on non-pitched percussion instruments (except for the timpani), the second movement utilizes only pitched instruments.

The third movement likewise is written mostly on pitched instruments, but there is the involvement of the five graduated drums.

It is a large work, and I anticipate that it will take about 25 minutes. The first movement, which is the largest, was written during a residency at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, and the rest of the work was completed December 31, 1985, at home in Los Angeles. It is a very challenging work; it is always my intention to display the musical potentialities of percussion to the best of my ability, and, since the Air Force Band is a wonderful band, and the soloists are wonderful players, the score is quite demanding.

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Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by the United States Air Force Band
Composition Date 1986, rev. 1996
Duration 00:21:20
Orchestration 4(4Picc./Al.Fl.) 3(E.H.) 6(B.Cl.) 2 - 4 6 4 2; 5Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Vcl. Cb.
Premiere 5th November, 1986. United States Air Force Band, Major James M. Bankhead, conducting; Washington, D.C.