Masquerade (A Willisau Celebration)

MASQUERADE was commissioned by Stadtmusik Willisau from Switzerland (Reto Güdel, conductor) to celebrate their 175th anniversary in 2003 and first performed by them in November that year.
 
1. Overture
The first movement opens with a fanfare-like figure, featuring the brass, before the main them is introduced over staccato chords. After a short, syncopated interlude a legato theme is introduced in the tenor register and material is developed until the music slows temporarily. The opening theme returns and the ‘tenor’ tune is taken up by the whole band until the opening fanfare returns to close the movement.
 
2. Elegy
The slow movement opens intensely with a bare two-part theme, which leads to a passionate chorale-style melody. A second theme is introduced and leads to a climax, a return of the chorale theme and a pianissimo repeat which again leads to a full-band climax. The two-part theme returns quietly to create a peaceful close.
 
3 Interlude
A short movement which changes the mood to introduce:-
 
4 Finale
Three violent chords preface a lively syncopated opening theme. The trumpets introduce a second idea, which is treated fugally, and this in turn leads to the main melodic idea of the movement, over staccato chords. A contrasting subject is then introduced in the middle of the band, followed by echoes of the first movement fanfare. The opening theme returns and material is revisited until the opening fanfare returns in full to end the work triumphantly.