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Freedom is a Thorny Crown

Classical • 2018

Freedom is a Thorny Crown

29.00 USD

Seller Joseph Hasper
PDF, 4.69 Mb ID: SM-000338854 Upload date: 31 Jul 2018
Flute, Flute piccolo, Clarinet, Bassoon, Oboe, Euphonium, Horn, Trombone, Tuba, Snare drum, Glockenspiel, Timpani, Xylophone, Cymbals, Tambourine, Bass drum, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
Type of score
Full score, Parts
Joseph Hasper
A bold, modern piece for full concert band composed in 2018. 7'00" duration. Contains instrument parts and a full score. Parts are formatted for 9"x12" concert size paper; score is 11"x14".

Program Notes:

Christian readers will need no further elucidation of the title. It affirms that freedom [from sin and death] is personified in Jesus Christ, who having defeated death was resurrected and crowned in glory. The crown is called “thorny” here in remembrance of the crown of thorns Jesus endured in his passion, a reminder our freedom was not won without a cost.

The title is relevant to a secular interpretation as well. If freedom is the crowning achievement of a people, it is a thorny crown. As President Roosevelt once said, “Freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.”1 Freedom requires effort, work, and sacrifice from those who would be free. Once achieved, the work continues: “Freedom, in any case, is only possible by constantly struggling for it.”2 It is not an end state, but a dynamic state. In other words, freedom is not as much what you are as what you do.

Musically, this piece is based on three ideas. A dynamic theme of chaos and instability reflects the uncertainty of our daily, modern lives. A more serene and melodic tune, the second idea, reflects a longing for the clarity of former, less complicated times. The third idea is the paradox that we are at once more connected with each other than at any other time in history, yet less united. This is musically portrayed as a lone instrument creates ripples and echoes throughout the band while a mechanical ostinato grinds and churns under its own energy with an unrelated tempo and logic.

We live in complicated times. Life is messy and chaotic, with unclear beginnings and endings in a web of global dependencies we only vaguely comprehend. We are surrounded by stunning incongruities. To be meaningful and relevant our cultural artifacts—music, painting, literature, et al—cannot help being anything other than a reflection of these complicated times.

1 Elbert Hubbard, in his essay on Booker T. Washington in Little Journeys For 1908, p. 21. Franklin D. Roosevelt later used this line on the occasion of the 74th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
2 Albert Einstein, Is There Room for Individual Freedom in a Socialist State? July 1945, Einstein Archives 28-661.
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