Works by Tobias Wolf

(12 May 2018)

 

Works for Solo Instruments
and Small Ensembles

139 Piccadilly. A Poetic Triangle.
Three Art Songs (2018) (To Jack Graeme Christie)

In this set of three works that the author describes as a poetic triangle, the same situation is told from three perspectives. Calantha (No. 1) makes space for her frustration about her husband, Lord Byron, who in Chartered Love (No. 3) presents his depressed emotional view on the matter, while their dog (A London Hound, No. 2) seems to register some issues with the couple but - given his nature being an animal - playfully and easy-minded explores the city of London, reflecting the circumstances, loyal to both. The poet leaves a considerable room for interpretation and presents us with ambiguous verses. Rather than only paraphrasing the text, this setting into music aims at polarising the meaning towards a certain feel, the composer's interpretation is truly a subjective reflection on the poetic triangle itself. Sung by the same voice, all three movements are to be performed in the given order, filling the different scenes with a dramatic overexaggeration of moods: nostalgic, hysterical, angry in No. 1, ironic, dancing, comical in No. 2; sad, passionate, resigning in No. 3 - to name a few suggestions to the performing artists. In this setting of the text, voice and instrumental accompaniment are to complement each other, with the voice leading in its expressive moments, while the piano skillfully drives the harmonic progressions forward, restless particularly in Calantha, never to seem settled in one key, and moving constantly sequenzing. Should the piano lack a sostenuto pedal as required in No. 1, the careful use of the sustain pedal may be helpful. The singer shall be encouraged to make frequent use of expressive rubati, accelerandi when they suit the text, with the piano supporting this in a colla voce accompaniment. This is a setting of poems by Samuel David Downes.

Chanson d'automne.
Autumn Song for mixed ensemble (T, B, Cl, Vc, BD) (2017) (To Samuel David Downes)

This is a very sinister interpretation of Paul Verlaine's famous poem Chanson d'automne from his first collection Poèmes saturniens, and more specifically from the Payasages tristes, 'Sad landscapes'. It is reflecting on the poem's use for the invasion of Normandy in World War II, therefore using the dark and foreboding character of the E Phrygian mode. This composition is inspired by fourteenth century French polyphonic and isorythmic composition techniques and picking up on the idea of a repeating rhythmic pattern, yet it aims never to sound quite settled for both performers and audience. Thus, an 11/8 meter is deliberatly chosen and juxtaposed to 12/8 only when the text leaves space for hope and remembrance of brighter days. The in many parts polyphonic texture picks up on the idea of imitation of both preocurring musical ideas, as well as paraphrasing what is given in the text, sometimes creating an onomatopoeic effect (see for example cello in high register, sounding like a violin, m. 16 ff.). With the careful choice of instruments that have a very different sound quality in different registers, this work makes use of a wide pitch range to ensure a great variation in timbres and more possibilities to set into music what is skilfully written in words.

Impressions from A Train Ride.
Duet for Flute and Clarinet (2017) (To Darryl Graham Peers)

This work's aim is to explore the different timbres of the instruments registers. From making use of the clarinet's deep and mysterious sound colour in its chalumeau register, to a pale and fuzzy sounding throat, a bright clarino register to an almost flute-like quality in the altissimo register that seems to be the most perfect match to its the duet partner. The flute's lowest register is very rich and colourful, it's middle register more powerful and carrying, the upper register has a shrill but also light character. Both instruments change their timbre significantly depending on dynamics. Performers are encouraged to exaggerate the crescendos and decrescendos for maximum effect. Extended playing techniques such as multiphonics or bent notes show off the two instruments timbres from a very unfamiliar side. Written for only two instruments, this piece makes use of distinct rythms in both parts to suggest the imagery of a train ride. 

Timbre Tajiri.
Reflections on plastic artworks of Shinkichi Tajiri for two trumpet players and one pianist (2016) (To Ashley Cameron Edwards)

This work makes use of unfamiliar playing techniques (i.e. deconstructing the instrument, singing and playing simulaneously, the use of mutes, half valves, hand vibrato, blowing air through the instrument, as well as creating percussive sounds while playing). In doing so, the piece explores a wide range of new timbres and rhythms that may seem uncommon for both players and the recipient. Performers shall follow the instructions in the score precisely. Performers are advised to make themselves familiar with the sculptures of Shinkichi Tajiri as this composition reflects on them.

Remembrance III
for Brass Quartet (Flg, 2 Trb, Tb) (2016)

This work’s sound quality is determined by a homorhythmic brass quartet featuring four equally important parts that stay within a small written range as well as closely written harmonies. In the tutti sections, no linear succession of tones shall be leading as a melody at any time. Breaking this texture however, the Flugelhorn player is to perform a (monophonic) solo that makes use of fingering and playing techniques of a three perinet valve instrument. Performing this piece at a space with long reverberation will exagurate its texture. Although used chords could, when analysed, partly serve a harmonic function with regards to tonal music theory, there is no specific tonality intended. The ambiguity of used chords and recurring chord progressions in a transposed form, will make it impossible for the recipient to identify a tonal structure following common harmonic combinations. Oral sounds are used in this work, performers shall use German vowel pronunciation

Other works for
solo voice/instrument or small ensemble:

Comin' Through the Ages. Impromptu for Piccolo Trumpet in A and Piano (2018) (To Alexander Hirzmann)
Alas I Mourn The Morning Dew for unaccompanied solo soprano (2018) (To Vesna Wolf)
Fanfare maritale pour précéder la marche de mariage de Mendelssohn: Songe d'une nuit d'été ('Wedding Fanfare') for Brass Quartet (2Trp, Hrn, Tb) Joint composition with Samuel David Downes (2017) (To Gordon Cooper)
Piano Sketches I (2017)
Remembrance II for Flute and Piano (2012)
Impressions, Michael Schütz. Arrangement for Piano (2012)
Spiritual Pop. Short Pieces for Solo Piano (2010)
Remembrance I for Trumpet and Piano (2010)
Über die Freundschaft (Lied) (2009) (For Markus Unkel)

Educational:

Exploring Trombone. Study exploring extended techniques on the tenor trombone (2017) (To Phillip Stolz)
Three Audition Pieces for Solo Trumpet (To Daniel Leslie) (2016)
Erster Lehrmeister für Spielmannsflöte (2015) (To the Kreismusikverband Neuwied)
Katastrophe, die Erste. Study for piano (For Jana Düren) (2009)

Transcriptions:

 

Fanfare pour preceder La Peri, Paul Dukas. Transcription for Brass Ensemble (2017)
Fanfare pour preceder La Peri, Paul Dukas. Transcription for Brass Quartet (2017)
Pavane La Bataille, Tielman Susato. Transcription for Brass Quartet (2010)
Ich bete an die Macht der Liebe. Gebet from Großer Zapfenstreich for Military Band, Dmytro Bortnjanskyi. Transcription for Trumpet Quartet (2010)

Arrangements:

Scherzo from Midsummer Night's Dream, Felix Mendelssohn. Arrangement for Brass Ensemble (2015)
Der Mond ist aufgegangen, Johann A. P. Schulz. Arrangement for Trumpet Quartet (2015) (To Heilgard Sinapius)
St. Martin. Selection of pieces for the St. Martin’s day, arranged for Trumpet Quartet (2015) (To the Christuskirche Knightsbridge, London)
Viva la Vida, Coldplay. Arrangement for Brass Quartet (2014) (For Hagen Sinapius)
Impromptu after op. 5 Nr. 5 and 6, Jean Sibelius. Arrangement for Brass Ensemble (2014)
Und voce poco fa from The Barber from Sevilla, Gioacchino Rossini. Arrangement for Soprano, Flute, Viola and Piano (2013)
Impressions, Michael Schütz. Arrangement for Brass Quartet (2013) (To the Brass section of Aberdeen University Concert Band)
Freude Schöner Götterfunken, Europahymne from Symphony No. 9 D minor op. 125, L. v. Beethoven. Arrangement for Brass Ensemble (2012) (For the Beethovenfest Bonn)
Samba Pachti. Medley for Brass Ensemble and Percussion. Co-arrangement with Manuel Gerhards (2012) (For the Gulaschkapell, Erpel)
Lord of the Rings from the motion picture of the same name, Howard Shore. Arrangement for Brass Sextet (2012)
Weibermedley. Medley of Songs by de Höhner for Brass Ensemble and Percussion, Co-arrangement with Manuel Gerhards (2011) (For the Gulaschkapell, Erpel)
Dinner March from Das Traumschiff, James Last. Arrangement for Brass Ensemble (2010) (To the Gulaschkapell, Erpel)
Sanctus from Deutsche Messe, Franz Schubert. Arrangement for Brass Quartet (2010)
Viva la Vida, Coldplay. Arrangement for Brass Ensemble (2010) (To Friedemann Schmitt-Eggert)
Gabriella’s Song from Så som i himmelen, Stefan Nielsson. Arrangement for Brass Ensemble and Strings (2009) (To Dominik Arz, the Null-Uhr-Kapell and AGUNDO Strings, Erpel)
Drink doch eene met, Bläck Fööss. Arrangement for Brass Ensemble and Percussion (2009) (To Jörg Weich)
Billie Jean and Thriller, Michael Jackson. Arrangement for Brass Quintet (2009) (To Heinz Hirzmann)
Fanfare for Rocky, Bill Conti. Arrangement for Brass Ensemble (2008)

 

Choral Works (with and without instrumentalists)

Ein Wind von Westen
for SATB chorus divisi (2017)
(To Peter MacPherson)

This work explores different textures in its sections to underline what is given in the text. The intoduction foreshadows harmonically what is to follow in section B, with its climax in measure 29. I want to mention section C in particular, in which the accompanying voices (SAT) create a 'Klangteppich' (ger. sound carpet) that paraphrases musically what is described as 'Brennen' ('burn, fire') in the text, with basses soli on top. Although the piece is mostly homophonic, the beginning of section B starts with a canon-like polyphony. The melody was closely composed to the text, its contour follows the content of the text, its climaxes underline the most important and most emotional text passages. Although generally written with a simple tonal structure (F minor), this work's harmonies reflect tension and emotion in the poem with clashing notes and a change to Major chords, reflecting the idea of hope in holding a tree branch (e.g. m. 16). Text: Lennart Heickmann

Educational:

Singing is Fun. Introductory Workbook for Community Choirs. Editions for SAB or SATB (2019)

Arrangements:

Caledonia, Dougie Maclean. Co-arrangement with Samuel David Downes for SATB chorus (2018) (To the Anderson, Anderson & Brown Choir, Aberdeen, on the occasion of Sing, Sing, Sing 2018)
Somewhere from West Side Story, Leonard Bernstein. Arrangement for SATB chorus divisi, Flugelhorn, Violin and Piano (2017) (To Tom Jowett)
Somewhere from West Side Story, Leonard Bernstein. Arrangement for four male solo voices (TTBB), violin, cello and piano (2017) (To Fraser Lewis and Sebastian Lim-Seet)
God Save The Queen. Fanfare and Anthem. Arrangement for Wind Orchestra and Choir (2017) (For a service of The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem)
Calon Lan, Traditional Welsh hymn. Arrangement for SATB chorus and piano, co-arrangement with Samuel David Downes (2017) (To Christopher Gray)

 

Works for Wind Orchestra

Compositions:
 

Editions
and Transcriptions:

To the Heartbroken. For small wind orchestra. Joint composition with Samuel David Downes (2017) (In memoriam Uli Schwarz)

Dramatic March Fantasy op. 69, Michael Steitz. Edited Version for Wind Orchestra (2017) (To The King's Philharmonic Wind Orchestra)
Fanfare from Also Sprach Zarathustra, Richard Strauss. Transcription for Wind Orchestra (2017) (To Anmol Padam)
Schindler’s List Theme from the motion picture, John Williams. Transcription for Soprano Saxophone and Wind Orchestra (2017) (To Ben Light)
Schindler’s List Theme from the motion picture, John Williams. Transcription for Solo Violin and Small Wind Orchestra (2017) (To Anya McRae)

Educational:

Intonation Study for Wind Orchestra (2016)

Arrangements:

Les Miserables. Excerpts from the Musical by Claude Michael Schönberg. Arrangement for Wind Orchestra (2014)

 

Works for Symphonic Orchestra

Compositions:

Impromptu pour Vanessa for String Orchestra. Joint composition with Samuel David Downes (2017) (To Vanessa Vallet)

Orchestrations:

Krabat oder die schwarze Mühle am Koselbruch.
Musical for Children by Gerald Charlier with excerpts from W. A. Mozart’s Requiem.
Orchestration for Orchestra, Children’s Choir, Soloists and Piano (2009) (To the Gesangverein Cäcilia-Eintracht 1844, Erpel)

Arrangements:

Bella’s Lullaby from Twilight, Carter Burwell. Arrangement for Symphonic Orchestra (2009)
The Fellowship of the Ring from the motion picture The Lord of the Rings, Howard Shore. Arrangement for Symphonic Orchestra (2011)
The da Vinci Code. Music from the motion picture of the same name. Arrangement for Symphonic Orchestra (2009)
Pirates of the Caribbean from the motion picture of the same name, Klaus Badelt. Arrangement for Symphonic Orchestra (2008) (To the musicians of Musikschule AGUNDO)
Lord of the Rings from the motion picture of the same name, Howard Shore. Arrangement for Symphonic Orchestra (2007) (For the Orchestra of Musikschule AGUNDO)

 

Works for Military Drum Corps (Spielmannszug)

Arrangements:

Scottish Folk Tunes Medley for Military Drum Corps (For Dirk Richarz) (2017)
Dinner March from Das Traumschiff, James Last. Arrangement for Military Drum Corps (2012) (To Ralf Frickel)
Florentine March, Julius Fucik. Arrangement for Military Drum Corps (2011)
Amazing Grace for Military Drum Corps (2009)
Viva la Vida, Coldplay. Arrangement for Military Drum Corps (2011) (To the Tambour-Corps Erpel 1963 e.V.)
Billie Jean and Thriller, Michael Jackson. Arrangement for Military Drum Corps (2009)
Drink doch eene met, Bläck Fööss. Arrangement for Military Drum Corps (2009)