TIMESPAN

Composed: 1986
Premiere:  COMPOSER’S INC., New Albion Brass Quintet, San Francisco, October 6, 1987
Duration: 14 minutes
Instrumentation: Brass Quintet - 2 trumpets (doubling Fluegelhorns), Horn, Trombone, Tuba

PROGRAM NOTES

I.  Rondeau Squared
II.  Ancient Calls
III. Shining Metal

The remembrance of time spent viewing the stone circles and standing stones of Scotland and Dartmoor where I could almost hear the eerie sounds of primitive horn calls floating across the hills, and of a day at Stonehenge where a mystifyingly modern cosmological knowledge on the part of Bronze Age people seems in evidence, inspired an interest in combining the ancient and primitive with the space-age. Rondeau Squared follows the rondeau form of the 13th century French Trouvères which exploited basically the alternation between chorus and soloist and had two thematic ideas. My contemporary version is elaborated so that each section of the large rondeau form is, in itself, a small rondeau form. Of the three movements, Ancient Calls was written first. While writing it, I became interested in making a connection between the ancient and the contemporary. Ancient Calls reminded me of the bleak hills and ancient yet modern stone markings and sight lines found in Dartmoor and Scotland. It uses multiphonics and changing vowel sounds and recurrent permutations of aggregates involving the perfect fifth. Shining Metal leaves the ancient behind and is a space-age maze of rhythmic complexities presented through the utilization of three short motivic ideas.

REVIEWS

"...Perhaps the finest of all was the opener: Margaret Brouwer's three-movement "Timespan" for brass quintet. Brouwer is gifted with a finely controlled constructive imagination and a superb sense of the capabilities of brass instruments.  Together these made for powerful, variegated and exhilarating music."  -Andrew Stiller, Buffalo News, June 22, 1986


"...Margaret Brouwer’s perfectly-proportioned "Timespan" is a marvelous example of musical imagery. Its eerie second movement, ‘Ancient Calls’, is the high point of the disc. Repeated hearings reinforced my initial feeling that this is some of the best music ever written for brass quintet ."  - Kilpatrick, American Record Guide, March/April 1992