UNT Symphonic Band, Dennis Fisher
2007 J.W. Pepper Editors Choice Selection
Bb Clarinet 1/2
Bb Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone 1/2
Horn in F 1/2
Bb Trumpet 1/2
Percussion 1 (snare drum, medium concert tom, bass drum, triangle)
Percussion 2 (suspended cymbal, tam-tam, tambourine, woodblock)
Mallet Percussion (bells, xylophone) - optional
Apollo, the Greek god of prophesy, music, and healing served as the inspiration for Apollo’s Chariot. One of his daily tasks was to harness his chariot with four horses and drive the sun across the sky. Apollo was also a great warrior, bringing down the mighty Achilles with one of his arrows. For me, these two images set the stage for a dramatic work, with bold (and sometimes dissonant) harmonies and driving rhythms throughout. As the god of music, Apollo was known for playing the lyre and the lute. This more sensitive side of Apollo is represented in the lyricism of the peaceful ballad section at rehearsal m. 55. The peace is overcome by war at rehearsal m. 80, which driving to the exciting conclusion.
"A delightful piece for young bands, [Apollo's Chariot] is in the customary fast-slow-fast, three-part form. It opens with a simple main theme, played fast and in a fanfare setting. The theme then appears in a rhythmic setting held together by a bass line ostinato. Percussion interludes provide additional color and rhythmic drive.
Worthy of mentioning is the fact that the second clarinet parts do not extend into the upper register. The rhythmic structure has a variety of eighth-note figures and some dotted-quarter, eighth-note combinations. The scoring includes extensive doubling, and the percussion choir will need a mallet player in addition to the customary drums and timpani."
Charles R. Groeling, Roosevelt University, retired
The Instrumentalist Magazine (September 2008)
J.W. PEPPER BLURB
"You'll want to grab the reins of the nearest chariot when you experience the action of this wonderfully descriptive work. Thundering percussion provides the fuel throughout, even though the parts are well within the playing abilities of this level. Well written and effectively scored, it will have younger groups sounding much more developed and mature."
J.W. Pepper, Editor's Choice (August 2007)