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One Step Backward Taken (big band and mixed choir)

$60.00Price

Commissioned by Chris Merz and the University of Northern Iowa.

This setting of a Robert Frost poem brings together the unlikey pair of a large instrumental jazz ensemble and full mixed choir. 

In the first part of the piece, there is some interplay between the band and the choir, with a couple of instrumental motifs that occur between phrases of the text. As the music unfolds, it builds to a more rhythmically driving section that foreshadows the inevitable disaster that the poet-narrator will witness. The line, “I felt my standpoint shaken in the universal crisis,” ushers in a chaotic section with soprano saxophone improvisation.

The music calms considerably as the poet-narrator takes his one step backward. It builds once more, but this time to a more triumphant climax before ending with a reflective whisper.

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