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Llorenç Mendoza

Wind Orchestra 

  • Complete SET
  • Digital
  • SCORE printed + PARTS digital


Data sheet

Llorenç Mendoza
10' 30''


Flute 1, 2

Oboe 1

Oboe 2 / English Horn


Eb Clarinet

Bb Clarinet 1, 2, 3

Bass Clarinet 

Alto Sax. 1, 2

Tenor Sax.

Baritone Sax.


Horn in F 1, 2, 3, 4

Bb Trumpet 1, 2, 3

Trombone 1, 2, 3





Snare Drum

Toms (4)

(Mark Tree, Tam tam)

Percussion 1

(Bass Drum, Susp. Cymbal, Pair of Cymbals, Metal Güiro, Anvil (or brake), Triangle, Maracas)

Percussion 2

(Tubular Bells, Glockenspiel, Temple Blocks, Bongos, Tam tam)

Percussion 3

(Vibraphone, Snare Drum, Xylophone, Tam tam)


Overture for an Anniversary, Op. 13, by Llorenç Mendoza Ruiz

To my dear friend Richard Scott Cohen, vice president of the IGEB, with great affection and esteem, for your unconditional generosity, honesty and goodness, and for so many years of loyal friendship.

Euphonika, Overture for an Anniversary, Op.13, was commissioned by the IGEB: Internationale Gesellschaft zur Erforschung und Förderung der Blasmusik (the International Society for the Research and Promotion of Wind Music), on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary in 2024. 

The objective of this research society is to investigate, study and explore topics related to wind music; to convene international conferences in which musicologists, composers, conductors, performers and other interested individuals can exchange ideas and knowledge; and to promote and disseminate the findings from the research of its members via a variety of publications, including their Alta Musica series. 

This work was premiered on July 13, 2024, at the 27th International Congress of the IGEB, in the city of Paiporta, in the Valencia Province of Spain.  It was performed in the Florida Auditorium of the Banda Primitiva de Paiporta musical society by its Symphonic Band, directed by the composer himself. 

Notes from the Composer 

Euphonika represents a synthesis of emotions that I have experienced on a musical level over the same 50-year period of the of the IGEB’s existence. I have represented these emotions throughout the work with musical “tips of the hat” to different composers, to various musical styles, and to exemplary works for band from this and previous historical periods. Included among these are musical references to the works of Ottorino Respighi, Maurice Ravel, Igor Stravinsky, Jules Strens, Johan de Meij, James Barnes, John Barnes Chance, John Williams and Philip Sparke, among others.

At the broadest structural level, this piece is divided in traditional fashion into the three well-differentiated sections, with two fast outer sections being balanced and contrasted by a slower middle section. 

The opening of the piece features a majestic and radiant 5-measure introduction that hearkens back to the year 1966, in the town of Sindelfingen, near the German city of Stuttgart. The intensifying percussion roll in the first measure symbolizes that seminal meeting of researchers, performers and aficionados of wind music, who desired to create a “Committee for Research for Wind Music.” Eight years later, it ultimately resulted in the birth of the IGEB.   

The first section evokes those initial steps of the new society and its subsequent consolidation at its first conference in 1974, at the University for Music and the Performing Arts, in Graz, Austria. Those seminal moments are represented by a main theme with a vigorous and determined character, led by the horns. To do this, I recalled the first impressions that so permeated my musical adolescence in the 1970s and 1980s: those acoustic memories of classical music in general, and of wind bands in particular.  I have tried to reflect sounds from various continents to highlight the international character of this wind music research society from its very first moments.  In Europe at that time, the publishers and brothers Bob and Jan Molenaar reinvented their business, and almost simultaneously, the De Haske Publishing House burst into force, led by the Dutch composer and director, Jan de Haan. Music from those publishers began to arrive in Spain at that time – a flood of orchestral transcriptions, and original works for band with their own unique style, composed by young Northern European composers full of freshness, modernity and gallantry: Johann de Meij, Jan Van Der Roost, Kees Vlak, Jacob de Haan, Dirk Brossé, among many others. About that same time in North America, one of the composers I whom I have most admired, the prolific James Barnes, premiered his Eaglecrest Overture Op.49, in 1984. All these influences contribute to the shaping of this initial section.  The section concludes with the evocation of sonorities from Italian impressionistic music that I enjoyed so much when I was young and listening to one of my favorite composers, Ottorino Respighi. 

The second section represents a parenthetical moment in the journey of the IGEB over its half century of existence:  the period of reflection, of uncertainty, and of rethinking traditional ideas in the face of the technological upheavals occurring at the beginning of the 21st Century. A first melodic idea begins with a solo trumpet, which exposes the thematic beginning of the initial main theme. It then becomes modified, elaborated and developed. As a technical and analytical curiosity, it occurred to me to use an alternation of a minor chord and a diminished fifth chord as the harmonic foundation on which the second melodic idea of this relaxed section is based. These chords are based on the two groupings of the notes, E-G-B and E-G-Bb, with the Bb pitch (in Latin called “SI-flat”) being assigned to the letter “I” to complete the 4 letters that form the research society’s acronym (IGEB).  

This harmonic alternation also serves as the basis for the second melodic development. It first appears in the solo English horn, and then it reappears in a clarinet and bass clarinet duo, almost always at the interval of a twelfth. On top of that, the piccolo floats an ephemeral solo that reinforces the harmonic alternation. Next, the solo euphonium introduces the third idea, which recalls the opening of the Final Dance of The Firebird ballet, by Igor Stravinsky – another one of the greats that has notably marked my understanding of music. This fragment of accompanied melody leads to the climax of this section, where a splendid and sonorous tutti bursts forth majestically, recalling the first melodic idea of this central section in quasi recapitulation fashion. The prominence of the brass and percussion here, and especially of the timpani, evokes the grandiose style of just about any of John Williams masterful musical scenes. 

After this climactic moment, a sudden and unexpected pause serves to introduce the third and final section of this piece (measure 97). The first sounds emerge from two snare drums located as far away as possible and on opposite ends of the ensemble, and facing each other in order to achieve the greatest stereo effect possible. These alarming sounds portend the arrival of the next musically depicted section: the global COVID pandemic of 2020.

Initially, the IGEB conference in Valencia was scheduled to take place in July of 2020.  But for obvious reasons, including restrictions local social distancing, the society was forced to postpone their conference setting here in Valencia to July of 2024. I have seized the oppoprtunity of this setback to capture in sound this entire turbulent and stormy period that we have all had to live through. To be honest, I have to admit that it actually empowered me to create enormous contrasts throughout the piece. I became free to extract from the symphonic band an array of the harshest and most abrupt, heartbreaking, piercing, penetrating, intense, tormented and ferocious sounds. I wanted to reflect in this section some of the most important elements that were part of this totally unexpected calamity that so shocked the planet. 

Those first notes of the snare drums, which evoke final section of the Danse Funambulesque by the Belgian composer Jules Strens, represent the first signs of alarm, the first wake-up call, which humanity was completely unprepared to handle as it might have done in retrospect. This introduction, with successive entries of other percussion instruments, simulates the increase in the disheartening information that was reaching us daily, as well as the consequential tension and uncertainty that it was generating within us. In measure 127, that feeling of alarm first appears in the calls of the trumpets. Soon afterwards, an ascending octatonic scale performed by the clarinets announces the arrival of the coronavirus itself (SARS-CoV-2).  

Reminiscences from the Danse Générale from the Second Suite of Ravel's ballet, Daphnis et Chloé, begin to emanate in musical dialogue. This segment continues to grow with the appearance of sharp and penetrating dissonances from a variety of different timbral entrances. I tried to recreate the absolute chaos of the saturated hospital ICUs, the rationing of food, the scarcity of masks and medications, the lack of information, and, most importantly, the daily record number of deaths that grew almost exponentially throughout the world.  All of this culminates with an explosive strike from the percussion in measure 147. 

It is after this very intense blow that the first sign of hope begins to appear: the vaccine so longed for by most people around the world (m.151). The flutes and saxophones represent the deliverers of this “magic potion,” with a brief melodic fragment of seven notes extracted from an otcatonic scale which employs a chromatic turn between the second and third notes. The calls of the brass over a pedal point in measure 155 aim to maintain a state of alert concurrently with the melodic representations of the vaccine. Within this hectic and confusing context, the inevitable existence of the “deniers” could not be omitted here. The musical depictions of laughter in the high woodwinds and trombones in measures 158 & 164 symbolize their disbelief in and distrust of the explanations and actions that governments were employing to deal with the pandemic. All of this is achieved musically by means of melodic leaps in different directions, and by the sarcastic effects of glissandos. 

Then, suddenly, as announced by the double strokes of the timpani, the Tragico agonizzante e sempre doloroso section begins (m.166). Here, the octatonic scale is melodically developed again in groups of four notes. Rhythmically, the forte whole notes symbolically illustrate the heartbreaking, incessant and forceful blows with which this plague was constantly dealing us – an epidemic that did not discriminate by age, culture, or race. By way of contrast, these whole notes reappear eight bars later, but they now are moved to the weak beats, as syncopations, that depict the blurred moans, groans and lamentations of humanity. This material is born from the famous four-note motive on which the extraordinary American composer John Barnes Chances based his Symphony No.2.  However, in this instance I have applied a slight variation: I do use the first note, but then I transform the remaining three notes in retrograde: 

 Original: C# • D • F • E  Transformation: C# • E • F • D 

This section is the most dramatic and painful of the entire work. It builds dynamically and instrumentally towards its climax, seemingly without end, with a series of percussion entrances. The disturbing sound of a siren is employed in the final bars as an extreme symbol of social alarm, and together these sounds create a desolate atmosphere that culminates with two final shocking and heartbreaking screams (the chords in mm. 196 & 198), highlighting the total exhaustion and collective helplessness of humanity. 

Coinciding with the fact that the IGEB conference and the premiere of this Overture were held in my hometown of Paiporta (Province of Valencia), I wanted to graft the recapitulation of the main theme onto a characteristic musical style from Valencia. I decided to set this initial idea in the style of “Moorish march.” A musical representative of our folklore, and a living history of our people, it is a form and style that has deep roots in the Valencian Community. As is typical of this style, the main role of the composition falls to the brass. Over a foundation of majestic percussion rhythms, their calls and fanfares create a color and brilliance typical of the exotic pomposity and flamboyance that this deeply rooted popular festival embodies. 

A solitary and broad tam-tam sound announces the transition between this Moorish march and its following Vivace e molto risoluto section – the beginning of the work’s brilliant and frenetic coda. In this final structural section, and in conventional manner, I elicit various melodic, harmonic, rhythmic and timbral materials used throughout the piece, so that they coexist and co-participate in the unfolding of this concluding section. In the same way, modal music fuses with tonal music, appearing noticeably within the dissonant sounds and harmonies that have been contrasted in earlier sections. 

Finally, my intention has been to confer a double meaning to this conclusive and festive coda. First, to celebrate the important milestone of the IGEB’s 50th anniversary, and second, to leave the audience with the feeling of hope and optimism for our future and for that of future generations. 

“Only in the dark can you see the stars” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) 

Llorenç Mendoza Ruiz 

Summer 2024 

Translation by Richard Scott Cohen 

  • Política de seguridad (editar con el módulo Información de seguridad y confianza para el cliente) Política de seguridad (editar con el módulo Información de seguridad y confianza para el cliente)
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