Here’s my Midsummer Pavanes in a thrilling performance by the University of the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble, led by Dr. Eric Hammer last November. It’s a bittersweet performance for me, since Pacific is my alma mater (I played in the SWE for four years), and because the piece was written in memory of George Buckbee, an emeritus professor, and dean of Pacific’s Conservatory of Music, as well as a dear personal friend.
The work was commissioned by a consortium of groups from across the US and Canada, and recently had performances in Washington and Oregon.
Here’s a bit on the actual music from the program notes:
As the title suggests, characteristics of the pavane, a moderately slow Renaissance dance sometimes associated with mourning, pervade the work. These aspects include the stately “long-short-short” rhythmic pattern heard frequently in the drums, and the paired but varied statements of melodic ideas. The work opens with a dirge over a descending bass line (another musical device representing grief), a short trumpet fanfare, and a simple, cantabile tune heard in first in F and later in G-flat. The piece returns to F and ends with quiet, improvised percussion figures that slowly dissipate into nothingness.