I have been killing my ears all weekend.
This younger generation -- they'll all be deaf by age 30.
I love de Meij's take on band music. As a trombone player, he understands the importance of filling the atmosphere of sound with the deep resonances of low brass. I'm nearly in tears right now, as I listen.
This semester, we will be playing movement V, Hobbits, in Concert Band. Music has always been linked to literature, yet De Meij shows a level of literary understanding rare for a composer. In Hobbits, he understands their nature: simple, down-to-earth, fun-loving people for whom the routine is important. Yet they are good-natured people, hardy people, who are willing to take up the most difficult tasks of the world when asked.
Each time the theme repeats, we, like Gandalf in the books, see another aspect of Hobbits. The piece moves from jolly to hardworking. The theme becomes resolved, then calm in the face of danger. It is a dance, but it is also a journey. By the end of the story, we have passed from innocence through drums of danger to find friendship and serenity in one's situation eventually to a triumph of epic proportions. This is all within the same theme!
The Air Force Band plays it rather too marchey. A lot more can be done with this movement than they allow. But this is to be expected. And it hasn't kept me from listening all weekend.