An Impression for Concert Band

Dan Welcher

Performing Ensemble: Concert Band
Publisher: Elkan-Vogel, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

"Arches" is a descriptive single-movement work. The title is double-edged: on one side, the music depicts the peaceful and airy grandeur of Arches National Park, in Utah. On the other side, the musical structure can be considered an "arch-within-an-arch".

The musical Arch form, as defined by Bartok and employed by many subsequent (and a few earlier) composers, is one in which the materials are presented in sequence; the repeated, in reverse (A-B-C-B-A). This work states a simple, slow six-note melody several times at the outset, in clarinets and resonating instruments. The textures are hazy, somewhat vague (as the Park's arches look in dense fog, or very early in the morning). Several different rock formations are seen, with a solitary bird piping as it flies in and out of the openings in the rock. A faster section heralds more substantial arches and natural bridges, with brass and percussion illuminating them at the height of the sun. A climax is reached, the opening material begins again---but rather than a restatement, the six-note theme is transformed into a broad, fluid melody, with all the other "arches" from earlier music providing a lush contrapuntal and harmonic support. The sun sets, the mists return, and the work closes quietly, just as it opened.

"Arches" was written in 1984, begun during and completed following a camping trip to Arches National Park.

Available on Rental

Scores & Parts

Arches - Full Score - Study
Arches - Full Score - Large

Additional Information

Composition Date 1984
Duration 9:00

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