"Paean" by Mark Wolfram is an original composition for concert band.
This paean refers not to the Greek healer of the gods, Paeon, but rather to the musical form paean: a hymn of thanksgiving. Early paeans were sung in preparation for and after battles. Greek warriors sang paeans to muster their courage and resolve as they prepared for battle - and afterward to celebrate their victories.
Musically, the paean was originally a choral ode which had an antiphonal character - a call and response in which a leader sang in a monodic style, and the chorus responded with a simple phrase. Later in its development, the paean was an entirely choral form. Paean is now usually used to mean an expression of praise or exultation.
In this Paean, a brief introduction leads to a melodic solo trumpet motif which is answered by woodwind responses. As the tempo increases a series of solo woodwind passages embellish the melodic fragments until a chorale of the original low instruments motif (from the introduction) is answered by a chorus of woodwinds - all with a rhythmic underpinning of muted trumpets, marimba and shaker. The original trumpet theme returns in the woodwinds and evolves into a brass chorale - and then a clarinet chorale with low woodwind accompaniment. After a section of development, a softly played brass chorus returns as woodwinds punctuate behind and lead to further phrases of the brass chorus - growing in intensity until a penultimate series of chords answered by timpani. As the woodwinds come to the fore with their punctuations, the first motif of the original trumpet solo is woven into a chorale growing in intensity - until the final triumphant chord!
"Paean" (for Concert Band) is a GRADE 4½-5 composition which features rhapsodic ensemble playing and step-out solos in the flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone and trumpet. The work has a duration of approximately 6:45.
A complete set of full-sized parts and a bound, transposed
full score are included. Available only through this website from Sound Studio Publications. The instrumentation/parts distribution for each set is as follows: