Trittico
by Vaclav Nelhybel
--
Grade
6

Internationally renowned composer Vaclav Nelhybel was born on September 24, 1919, in Polanka, Czechoslovakia. He studied composition and conducting at the Conservatory of Music in Prague (1938-42) and musicology at Prague University and the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. After World War II he was affiliated as composer and conductor with Swiss National Radio and became lecturer at the University of Fribourg. In 1950 he became the first musical director of Radio Free Europe in Munich, Germany, a post he held until he immigrated to the United States in 1957. Thereafter, he made his home in America, becoming an American citizen in 1962. After having lived for many years in New York City, he moved to Ridgefield and Newtown, Connecticut, and then, in 1994, to the Scranton area in Pennsylvania. During his long career in the United States he worked as composer, conductor, teacher, and lecturer throughout the world. At the time of his death on March 22, 1996, he was composer in residence at the University of Scranton.

Year of publication: 1965

Publisher: Franco Colombo

Grade: 6

Type of composition: Program music

Style: Three movement—fast, slow, fast

Programming suggestions: Trittico was composed for William D. Revelli who conducted the University of Michigan Band in the first performance of the work in the Spring of 1964. Trittico is defined as a triptych or painting on three panels such as is common on alters ‑ the two side panels closing over the central, panel. The title is most descriptive, as indicated in the following remarks found on the composer’s score: “The first and third movements are, in several ways, related to one another: 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 the movements is identical, with the individual instruments themselves being used quite similarly. The second movement is a strongly contrasting dramatic scene with turbulent recitatives and expressive woodwind solos, punctuated by low brass and percussion. The emphasis is on woodwinds and low brass: cornets and trumpets enter only at the very end with an extremely intense phrase to conclude the movement. The dramatic character is underlined by the strong use of percussion which is extended by a second timpani player, piano and celeste.

Solo instruments: alto sax, horn, tenor sax,

Anecdotal notes: First and third movements consist of many scale like passages. Should not be hard for players to play. Piano and celeste parts may be played by two regular members of the band; clarinet or cornet players if possible. Strong use of accents throughout entire sections in spots. Has parts for contrabass clarinet, alto clarinet, and string bass that are doubled in other instruments. Gong is not needed, but adds to effect of passages. 2 movement has oddly noted rhythms in places.

Discography: TRITTICO RR-52CD Frederick Fennell and Dallas Wind Symphony.

Recording of "Trittico"