Brom Bones

Composer: Buss, Howard J.
Instrumentation: Octet Instruments: Alto Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Clarinet, Contrabass Clarinet, Eb Clarinet
Genre: Contemporary

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"Brom Bones" for clarinet choir (1 Eb, 3 Bb, 2 Eb Alto, 2 Bb Bass, and 1 Bb Contrabass) musically depicts the character and exploits of Washington Irving’s dashing prankster in "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." The work is in 5 movements: Following the energetic and heroic "Overture", in "The Smoke Out" tone clusters represent the buildup of smoke in Ichabod’s singing school. Chorale-like passages suggest the music of the singers in training. The movement ends in transition, as Brom Bones and his small band of pranksters gallop off to their next adventure. The third movement, "The Schoolhouse Caper," combines very aggressive and topsy-turvy passages with humorous, plodding interjections. "Ichabod’s Romance" begins as an enchanting unaccompanied ballad, which is abruptly disturbed by a cacophony of raucous clarinets, suggesting the whining of Brom’s mocking dog. Reverent hymn-like sections serve as the backdrop to heartfelt solo passages, which are again disturbed by Brom’s annoying dog. The movement ends as it began, with the beautiful bass clarinet solo. The intense final movement, "Night Encounter," depicts Ichabod’s frightening and fateful run-in with the Headless Horseman, suspected by some to be Brom Bones in disguise.
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