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John Harbison

Publisher: AMP

San Antonio (wind ensemble) (1994)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Works for Band/Wind/Brass Ensemble
Sub Category
Mixed Wind Ensemble
Year Composed
arr. Don Elam for Wind Ensemble
12 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
Alto Saxophone
Alternate Orchestration
Programme Note
John Harbison San Antonio (wind ensemble) (1994)
I. The traveler has a free afternoon in San Antonio. It is August, 105 degrees. Expecting to start with the cool promenade along the river, he is instead lured by a sound. He follows it up a long stairway and finds himself in a little fiesta: a hot square, many people, no shade, a few people dancing to a fast beat, the band playing and singing in Spanish.

II. The first dancers finish, exhausted. Then, as if on cue, the whole crowd gets into a line of people of all ages, nine to ninety. They all know the steps, which change with the phrases.

III. The music changes again becoming slower. The people continue on in couples. No one seems to feel the heat and the band hardly stops. Everyone, the traveler included, sinks into it. Towards the end, a young girl asks the traveler to dance. He declines.

But a year later, when the tourist puts down the memory of the sounds, something about a saxophone, and a few rhythms in his distorted memory, he accepts.

—John Harbison

  • Soloist(s)
    Tom Myer, alto saxophone, Robert Spillman, piano
  • Soloist(s)
    Hui-Min Wang (Piano), Kenneth Radnofsky (Alto Saxophone)
    Boston :
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