Ives - The Alcotts 2nd movement from the Concord Sonata for Trombone Choir
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Here is what the arranger, Ross Holcombe says about his great scoring of this wonderful and unique work by Ives.
Ives finished the majority of his Concord Sonata, from which this movement is excerpted, in 1915. According to Ives, the piece reflects on the old Alcott house in Concord, MA, but I feel a greater struggle in this work than a mere journal about a piece of architecture. The fact that Ives quotes Beethoven’s 5th Symphony so extensively makes me wonder about his views on destiny, fate, the future, and the creative process.
The piece starts serenely but quickly devolves into uncertainty, doubt, and anger. A floating interlude brings us back to distant memories where we remember that we are shaped by our past, but have control of the direction of our future. Building on that realization and quickly gaining steam, the piece ends with a powerful and joyful climax. The angry Beethoven theme is transformed into one of power, hope, and light. A feeling of calm and contentment ends the piece, finally coming to rest on one simple C major chord.
This work is scored for 10 trombones: 1 alto, 7 tenor, and 2 bass trombones and is appropriate for advanced performers.