Werfelmann Premieres New Wind Ensemble Work
Nov. 22, 2016
David Werfelmann, assistant professor and director of the BA in Music program in the Department of Music, has premiered a major new work for wind ensemble.
On the Shoulders of Giants, commissioned by a consortium of university wind ensembles from around the country, is a three-movement work of about 17 minutes. It draws inspiration from a few of the great scientists that ignited the scientific revolution in the 16th century. The title is a reference to the oft-quoted phrase by Sir Isaac Newton: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
"The giants on whose shoulders Newton stood are scientists such as Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler,” said Werfelmann. "I have named the individual movements of this work after these three polymaths. Each movement has a unique character and affect, reflecting the stark contrast that, in my imagination at least, exists among these scientists’ great achievements.
"The consortium was led by Andrew Mast, the Director of Bands at Lawrence University. When I was on faculty at Lawrence in 2015, he and I discussed how we might fund a new work that his wind ensemble could perform. The consortium model was an obvious solution: each member gets to commission and premiere a new work for a part of the commission fee and the composer gets to benefit from several performances of the work. I am thrilled that universities such as the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, Furman University, and of course, Webster are among the participating members. I look forward to hearing On the Shoulders of Giants performed around the U.S. in the coming year.”
The premiere on Nov. 12 was webcast internationally. A video stream is available, where Werfelmann’s new piece starts at 58:20 into the webcast.