top of page

El Poder de Pensar Group

Public·8 members

Third Symphony by James Barnes: A Tragic Masterpiece for Wind Band

Third Symphony by James Barnes: A Tragic Masterpiece for Wind Band

The Third Symphony by James Barnes is one of the most emotionally powerful and challenging works for wind band. Composed in 1997 as a commission from the United States Air Force Band, the symphony is a musical expression of Barnes' grief and despair after losing his baby daughter, Natalie. The symphony is sometimes nicknamed "The Tragic" and bears the designation Opus 89.

Third Symphony James Barnes Pdf 14

Download Zip:

In this article, we will explore the background, structure, and musical features of this symphony, as well as provide some links to download the PDF score and parts for the symphony.

Background of the Third Symphony

James Barnes is an American composer and professor of music theory and composition at the University of Kansas. He has written over 130 works for various ensembles, including band, orchestra, choir, and chamber music. He is especially known for his symphonies for wind band, of which he has composed five so far.

The Third Symphony was written during a very difficult time in Barnes' life. In 1996, his daughter Natalie was born with a severe heart defect that required multiple surgeries. She died at the age of five months in January 1997. Barnes was devastated by this loss and struggled to cope with his emotions. He decided to channel his grief into his music and dedicate his next symphony to Natalie.

He received a commission from the United States Air Force Band, conducted by Col. Alan Bonner, who gave him complete freedom to write whatever he wanted to. Barnes worked on the symphony for nine months and completed it in October 1997. He later wrote in the program notes:

"This symphony is the most emotionally draining work that I have ever composed. If it were to be given a nickname, I believe that 'Tragic' would be appropriate. The work progresses from the deepest darkness of despair all the way to the brightness of fulfillment and joy."

Structure and Musical Features of the Third Symphony

The Third Symphony is scored for a large wind band with expanded woodwind and brass sections, as well as piano, harp, synthesizer, string bass, and cello. It consists of four movements:

  • Lento â A slow and somber movement that depicts Barnes' frustration, bitterness, despair, and despondency after losing his daughter. It begins with a dark and dissonant chord that recurs throughout the movement as a symbol of fate. The main theme is a short, expressive chorale played by solo strings that represents Natalie's voice. The second theme is a turbulent and complex orchestral accompaniment that reflects Barnes' inner turmoil. The movement climaxes with a violent percussion section that leads to a sudden silence.

  • Scherzo â A fast and sarcastic movement that mocks the pomposity and conceit of certain people in the world. It is based on a rhythmic motif that resembles a military march or a circus tune. The movement features contrasting sections of loud brass fanfares, playful woodwind passages, and lyrical solos. The movement ends with a mocking gesture from the piccolo.

  • Mesto (For Natalie) â A slow and mournful movement that is dedicated to Natalie's memory. It is a fantasia that imagines what Barnes' world would have been like if Natalie had lived. It begins with a solo flute playing a lullaby-like melody that is later joined by other woodwinds and strings. The movement gradually builds up to a climactic section where the full band plays a triumphant version of the chorale theme from the first movement. The movement then fades away with a solo clarinet playing the lullaby melody.

  • Finale â A fast and energetic movement that celebrates life and joy. It is based on two themes: a lively dance-like theme played by the woodwinds and percussion, and a majestic hymn-like theme played by the brass and strings. The movement alternates between these two themes, creating a contrast between lightness and seriousness. The movement reaches a grandiose conclusion where both themes are combined in a glorious finale.

The Third Symphony by James Barnes is a remarkable work that showcases his mastery of orchestration, harmony, melody e0e6b7cb5c


Welcome to the group! You can connect with other members, ge...

bottom of page