By Lewis Spratlan | For Piano, Alto Saxophone, Horn in F, Trombone, Mandolin, Percussion | 11′
Composer: Lewis Spratlan
Year Composed: 2022
Instrumentation: For Piano, Alto Saxophone, Horn in F, Trombone, Mandolin, Percussion (snare drum & timpani).
Format: Full Score in C
Page Size: 10″x13″
Catalog Number: OM0456
Format: Performance Set: Full Score in C + 6 Parts
Page Size: 10″x13″ (score); Letter (parts)
Catalog Number: OM0456SP
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From the composer:
I’ve visited the Soviet Union twice, the first time, in the early 60’s, on a choral tour, the second, in the fall of 1989 as a guest of the Soviet Composers Union. The contrast was stunning. The cold war was at its height in the 60’s. Everyone was constantly on edge, fearing retribution for the slightest trespass and often not knowing what might cause the wrath of the authorities. The fall of 1989 was the period of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (economic reform). Now everyone was optimistic, almost giddy with the new freedoms. I was thrilled at the joy and welcoming attitude of the many people I met on tour to the Caucasus, Yerevan, Armenia, and Moscow. I felt that a real shift had taken place and that democracy could succeed in the future.
The current devastation and slaughter of civilians in Ukraine is a violent reminder of how wrong I was in my optimism. We’re now seeing the resurgence of the worst of the Soviet Union, reminders of Stalin at his most murderous, and genuine threats of nuclear horrors. Invasion, receiving its premiere today, is my attempt to vent my rage and profound disappointment and to call for united protest and action towards an end to this insane war. Its composition was begun on the first day of the onslaught and completed about a month later.
The piece will appear on a new all-Spratlan CD being released later in the year by the great pianist and champion of new music Nadia Shpachenko, herself a Ukrainian. It is dedicated to her and her vast power as a musician and human being.
Commission/Dedication: Dedicated to Nadia Shpachenko. Composed on the occasion of the murderous invasion of Ukraine by Putin’s Russian forces, February 24, 2022.
Premiere: First performed on April 2, 2022 at Chapman University in Orange County, CA. Featuring Anthony Parnther (conductor), Nadia Shpachenko (piano), Pat Posey (saxophone), Laura Brenes (horn), Phil Keen (trombone), Turi Inoo (percussion) and Joti Rockwell (mandolin).
Recording: This work is recorded on an all-Spratlan Reference Recordings album, Invasion: Music and Art for Ukraine, performed by Nadia Shpachenko and friends. For all listening options, click HERE.