A Day in Valencia

Medium: Concert Band/ Wind Ensemble

“A Day in Valencia” was commissioned by the Primitiva de Llíria for the 2011 Certamen of Bands in Valencia. It is a symphonic poem for large symphonic band in four movements. It is programmatic as it suggests a twenty-four hour period in Valencia. The first movement “Sunrise over the Mediterranean” shows the sun coming up over the Mediterranean Sea which I think is the most wonderful, picturesque way to wake up in the world, with the colors of the sun changing bit by bit, minute by minute until there is a sudden burst of the sun from above the water. The second movement “Workday” depicts the five parts of a typical Valencian workday. The first part of this movement is subtitled “Work to Live” which is a common phrase that I have heard from many Valencians. I have noticed that Valencians work very hard at their work and with great pride, no matter what the work is. In the late morning there is an almuerzo when work stops for something to eat, often with good friends. I titled this section “Laughing with Friends at Almuerzo”. After almuerzo it is time to go back to work, and the work theme reappears. The next section is “Lunch with the Family”. I am always impressed with how serious Valencians are about spending time with their family members as this is a special time of the day. After la comida it is back to work again until sundown. After sundown, the third movement, “An Early Evening Walk” offers a time of contemplation. When Primitiva Conductor Miguel Moreno asked me to compose this piece he asked that one movement be dedicated to Harvey Phillips, who was one of the greatest tuba players to have ever lived and was the tuba teacher of Miguel and myself. He passed away as I was writing this movement as noted by a quote from his favorite chorale of J. S. Bach “Come Sweet Death”. The fourth movement, “Late Night at a Fiesta” is very jubilant and happy, continuing all through the night, and ending when the burst of sunlight returns again for the beginning of another day. Influences heard in this piece are by Ravel, Berg, Stravinsky and Bach. The Primitiva de Llíria is one of the oldest in Spain, started in 1819. It is recognized as one of the most successful, having 500 playing members of the society. In the 2011 they played with 140 band members, the maximum allowed in the competition. Of the 140 members, were about 100 professional musicians all from the small town (about 25,000 people) of Llíria. Along with the usual band instrumentation are Flugelhorns, a cello section and a double bass section. Instrumentation is: Piccolo, 2 Flutes, Alto Flute, 2 Oboes, English Horn, 2 Bassoons, Contra Bassoon, Eb Clarinet, Principal Clarinet, 3 Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, Contralto Clarinet, Contrabass Clarinet in Bb, Soprano Saxophone, 2 Alto Saxophones, 2 Tenor Saxophones, Baritone Saxophone, Bass, Saxophone, 3 Trumpets, Flugelhorn, 4 Horns, 2 Trombones, Bass Trombone, 2 Euphoniums, 2 Tubas, Timpani, Cello, Double Bass, 2 Harpes, Piano & Celesta, Percussion (7 players – snare drum, bass drum, triangle, suspended cymbal, crash cymbals, water gong, wood block, tam tam, root toms, castinets, vibe slap, wind chimes, spring drum, tenor drums (4), claves, bongos (2), wind chimes, orchestra bells, vibraphone, xylophone)


1-Jul-11 by Banda Primitiva de Lliria

Commissioned by

Banda Primitiva de Lliria


First Prize Valencia Certamen of Bands 2011