Slava!
by Bernstein
trans. Grudman
--
Grade
6

(Born; Lawrence, MA, 25 Aug 1918; Died;New York, 14 Oct 1990 ). American conductor, composer and pianist. He studied at Harvard and the Curtis Institute and was a protege of Koussevitzky. In 1944 he made his reputation as a conductor when he stepped in when Bruno Walter was ill; thereafter he was associated particularly with the Israel PO(from 1947), the Boston SO and the New York PO (musical director, 1958-69), soon achieving an international reputation, conducting in Vienna and at La Scala. During his tenure the New York PO flourished as never before. A gifted pianist, he often performed simultaneously as soloist and conductor. At the same time, he pursued a career as a composer, cutting across the boundaries between high and popular culture in his mixing of Mahler and Broadway, Copland and Bach. His theatre works are mostly in the Broadway manner: they include the ballet Fancy Free (1944) and the musicals Candide (1956) and West Side Story (1957). His more ambitious works, many of them couched in a richly chromatic, intense post-Mahlerian idiom, often have a religious inspiration, for example the ‘Jeremiah’ Symphony with mezzo (1942), ‘Kaddish’, with soloists and choirs (1963) and the theatre piece Mass (1971). OperasTrouble in Tahiti (1952), rev. as A Quiet Place (1983)

Year of composition: 1977 trans. 1978

Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.

Grade: 6

Type of composition: Convert Overture

Style: Fast and rhythmic

Programming Suggestions: When Mstislav Rostropovich (“Slava” to his friends) invited Bernstein to help him launch his inaugural concerts as Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra, he also asked him to write a rousing new opening piece for the festivities. This Overture is the result, and the world premiere took place on October 11, 1977 with Rostropovich conducting his orchestra at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.

Solo instruments: trombone, cornet, flute, piccolo, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, Eb clarinet, xylophone, soprano/guitar soli.

Anecdotal notes: The trumpet and trombone solos in measures 37-44 and 173-180 should be played with wa-wa mutes in old vaudeville style. The solos in measures 17-22 should be played with growl effect (using plunger with short straight mute or plunger alone—both with flutter-tongue on growl notes). If some sixteen note passages are difficult for certain players, try a divisi arrangement. In measure 80—95 the melody should be played by two instruments, electric guitar and soprano saxophone. In the absence of these instruments, English horn and alto saxophone may be substituted for them. Extreme ranges in most instruments. Many brass entrances are high without a passage leading into them. No cue for Eb clarinet solo, will have to rewrite for another instrument if lacking. Numerous meter changes occur through out the piece; at one point, every other measure. Effects, such as growling, need to be comfortable to be performed by the players. 7/8 meter could prove difficult for counting rests and playing certain rhythms. Transitions between simple and compound meters may prove to be difficult. Will require strong players throughout sections due to nature of independent parts.

Discography: Beachcomber: Encores For Band. Conductor: Frederick Fennell. Reference Records. ASIN: B00000159W…..Emblems Cincinnati Wind Symphony. Eugene Corporon, Conductor. UIL Reference CD #UB127

Recording of "Slava!"