Titanic Story

Concert Band

Titanic Story

Ballad for Solo Vocal and Band

Composer:
Genre:
Solo for Vocal & Concert Band, Solo
Grade Level:
Mittel-/Oberstufe
Performance time:
00:07:01
Publisher:
Rundel
Size:
DIN A4
Info:
Full Score + Condensed Score + Parts
Order Number:
MVSR2079
Release Date:
2000

Info

This composition for vocal soloist and symphonic band is based on a song which was well-liked among the coloured population of the USA. It narrates, in the speech of the ordinary people, the story of the rich man who goes on a luxurious voyage and decides to book the maiden trip of the “Titanic”. This steamer was supposedly unsinkable, it was huge and modern... Nothing ever could happen... Then, however, the song goes, it was only an iceberg which suddenly changed a dream to become a catastrophe.

The composer wrestled a long time with himself, if he should make his work end in the minor mode, in a gloomy mood or should he conceive a close in the major mode. In the end it was the song which strongly influenced his eventual approach: he decided to craft a finale in the major mode, as the model song is determined by a certain serenity. Did not the ancestors of those rich people who now experienced the sinking of the “Titanic” force slavery upon the blacks not such a long time ago? The special relationship between master and slave also is evident in the song, when the (white) captain turns a deaf ear to the insistent warnings of the (black) chief stoker Bill.

The song is not written in standard American, it rather employs the vernacular in use among the coloured population. This, of course, was an essential reason for the composer to adopt this language for his piece. The “Titanic Story” is musically very demanding on the performer. It is designed in American tonal language, and taking into consideration its means of expression, it is reminiscent of George Gershwin and his music and of the epoch-making “West Side Story” by Leonard Bernstein. There neither is any similarity between this composition and the famous soundtrack of the “Titanic” screenplay nor was it ever intended.

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