Chorale and Alleluia (1954)
This piece was completed in January of 1954, and is Hanson’s first work for symphonic band. It was given its premiere on February 26, 1954, at the convention of the American Bandmasters Association at West Point with William Santelmann, leader of the U.S. Marine Band, conducting.
The composition opens with a fine flowing chorale. Soon the joyous “alleluia” theme appears and is much in evidence throughout. A bold statement of a new melody makes its appearance in the lower brasses in combination with the above themes. The effect is one of cathedral bells, religious exaltation, solemnity, and dignity. The music is impressive, straightforward, and pleasingly non-dissonant. Its resonance and sonority are ideally suited to the medium of the modern symphonic band.
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