Night Music for John Lennon

(Prelude, Fugue, and Chorale)

Lukas Foss

Rental
Publisher: Pembroke Music
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

Lukas Foss began to work on this commission by the Northwood Symphonette for brass quintet and chamber orchestra the morning of the day John Lennon was killed. Admittedly, this influenced the composition. There are no quotations, not even stylistic similarities to Beatle music, but the tonal nostalgia of the Prelude, the use of the electric guitar, the particular use of Major chords (though put into serial order) in the Fugue and the homage implied by the final Chorale all point to the tragic event of December 8th.

Lukas Foss does not claim to be an authority on Rock music, but there have been rock elements in previous compositions--in fact, more so than in the work under discussion. What Foss loves about the Beatles is that theirs is a genuinely "young" music. Many composers have a healthy love-envy for folk expression. Says Foss, "Our classical (or modern classical) music is at best ageless: it is never young. Brahms loved and envied Johann Strauss' waltzes their quality of youth. Bartok spent his life trying to fuse the freshness of gypsy folk elements with his highly musical expression, adn in the 1920's every composer had a love or a lover's quarrel with early jazz."

Another important consideration entered into the composition of Night Music. It was written for Canadian Brass, and therefore, had to be a vehicle for the five soloists. Three years earlier, Foss wrote a Quintet for this excellent ensemble. To quote the composer once again, "I like to write for friends."

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Scores & Parts

Night Music - Score - Performance

Additional Information

Composition Date 1981
Duration 00:15:00
Orchestration Solo brass quintet; 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 0; Perc. Pno. Elec.Gtr. Str.
Premiere Brooklyn Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra