An Iberian Fanfare

An Iberian Fanfare

medium-easy |  3 minutes

performed by Chris Bennett and the Berry Miller Junior High Honors Band

Program Notes

Composers have long been fascinated with the sounds of music from other cultures. For centuries, they have written music that mimics those sounds and evokes images of far away lands. Perhaps the most influential of these is the music of Spain. Indeed the sounds of Spain have achieved a global audience not necessarily through the works of Spanish composers but rather through the likes of famous composers of other nationalities such as Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov and French composers Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy. I myself am no different than others before me in that I find music of other cultures fascinating and incorporate different elements of their sounds into my music as I see fit.

An Iberian Fanfare is comprised of two alternating themes. The first theme, a fanfare introduced by the trumpets and saxophones, is accompanied by bold and robust chords in the low voices while the high woodwinds and keyboard percussion ring out a short three note motive reminiscent of church bells. The second theme, hinted at earlier with the church bell motive, is a lyrical melody set against a sinister and ominous march in the low voices. The second theme is restated in a new texture before giving way to the return of the first theme. The first theme returns and is then restated with a key change while a fragment of the second theme radiates above the ensemble. The second theme returns in a more lyrical and undulating fashion before being overtaken by a cacophonous march reminiscent of Ravel’s Boléro and the third movement of Debussy’s Iberia. The first theme reappears one final time in the new key with its original texture and is extended by a short coda in which the ear is led awry by the final cadence.

Austin Brake
June 2016
Friendswood, Texas


Recommended Listening

Capriccio Espagnol – Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Rapsodie Espagnole – Maurice Ravel
Boléro – Maurice Ravel
Iberia – Claude Debussy
La Mezquita de Córdoba – Julie Giroux