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Tilting at Windmills

for Orchestra minus Strings

or Concert Band


Composed May 29--August 10, 2015
Duration: about 9 minute     cover: from Livres Hebdo

Orchestra minus Strings:
Full Score, PDF        Cover      Parts, f&b, PDF

Concert Band:
Full Score, PDF     
Cover      Parts, f&b, PDF   

I. Dulcinea

Chorale: More Dolce Please: Chorale    [5']  

           MP3, TYP premiere

II. Sevillana

Allegro con gringo    [4']    MP3, TYP premiere
Dali elephants


         In May 2015, Hugh Partridge, music director of the Triangle Youth Philharmonic here in Raleigh, North Carolina, asked me to write a piece with the theme of Don Quixote for performance in the fall. The maximum duration was to be ten minutes, and the instrumentation was for all of his musicians, minus the strings. (This was because they were playing a string orchestra piece, and he wanted everyone to have the chance to play.)

          As a result, the instrumentation is for piccolo, 3 flutes, 2 oboes, 4 bassoons, 4 clarinets, one bass clarinet, 2 alto saxophones, tenor and baritone saxophones, 4 horns, 4 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, glockenspiel, and castanets. Note that I only write for unpitched percussion when under the influence of direct orders.

        video interview at premiere     The premiere performance was part of the I Am Quixote festival on November 22, 2015, at the Meymandi

Tara Lynn interviewed me and Margaret Partridge for WCPE on November 16, about this concert; here is that interview.  And here is the review in Classical Voice North Carolina (CVNC). Here is a clip from the WRAL interview (photo on the left) including a few words from my bearded visage just before the concert. (Note that whoever edited the video confused my music with Telemann, who wrote a very different piece on the program!) The MP3 recording from this performance is linked above. Allowances must be made for the fact that this is a youth orchestra, and as such the performance is not to professional standards.

          To allow for more chances of performance, I have another edition scored for a more standard concert band.  It will  be a more satisfying arrangement to perform.

          The programmatic aspects of this piece are rather general. The first movement is a relatively gentle and lyrical movement, reflecting the portrayal of Dulcinea (in the illusory version perceived by Don Quixote). The second movement, although clearly written by a composer whose heritage is far from the Iberian tradition, shows some Spanish influences, and is based on the Sevillana dance form.

          In general I do not compose for unpitched percussion, but I made an exception in this piece in order to include two percussionists in addition to the timpanist. It works pretty well, and I might allow myself more excursions into this in the future; but do not expect a trap set in any of my concerts.

            There is a version of Sevillana for woodwind quintet and piano.


Performance notes

          Accidentals apply through the measure and not beyond, and do not apply to octaves. The score is at concert pitch. If a conductor requires a transposed score, I can provide a special edition, but in general all my larger scores are at concert pitch. Updated versions of score and parts are posted on this page to allow for corrections of any errors.