Mars: The Red Planet

Mars: The Red Planet

Sound File
Sample Score SHOW PDF
Composer Wollmann, Thorsten
Instumentation Concert Band
Grade 4
Duration

8:20

Genre Concert Music
Included Parts

Piccolo
Flute
Oboe/English Horn
Bassoon
Contrabassoon
Eb Clarinet
Bb Clarinet 1
Bb Clarinet 2
Bb Clarinet 3
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone 1
Eb Alto Saxophone 2
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Flugelhorn 1
Bb Flugelhorn 2
Bb Trumpet 1
Bb Trumpet 2
Bb Trumpet 3
F Horn 1
F Horn 2
F Horn 3
F Horn 4
Trombone 1
Trombone 2
Trombone 3
Bb Baritone
Euphonium
Tuba 1
Tuba 2
Double Bass
Harp
Piano
Percussion 1
Percussion 2
Percussion 3
Percussion 4

(Additional parts for Europe)

Format

DIN A3

Article

SMP-10-0101

Description

Martian Sunrise (with blue clouds on a red sky) – Through the Canyons of Valles Marineris – Dark Shadows over Noctis labyrinthus – Inside the Caldera of Olympus Mons

Named after the Roman God of war, Mars is the fourth planet from the sun in our solar system. Its red signature color comes from the abundance of the chemical iron oxide in its rocks and soil. This fascinating planet has always been of scientific interest to humans, who have sent several spacecraft to its surface starting in 1976.

The composition is a musical landscape painting, focusing on some of the red planet’s most extraordinary geological formations.

The introduction creates an alien feeling, imagining the beginning of a new day in another world. The music then progresses march-like through this world made on a gigantic scale, featuring a system of canyons that are up to seven kilometers in height. The maze-like “labyrinth of night”, a region rich in minerals, appears mysteriously if seen from space, extending a spider-like network of arms. The orchestration of this part has a preference for low instruments, especially low brass, creating harmonically intriguing textures and with that a very dark sound. The shield volcano Olympus mons, aptly named after the seat of the Greek Gods, is the highest mountain in our solar system, with a height of over 2 kilometers. If we could stand on top of it, we would be surrounded by the blackness of space. The composition’s structure imitates the cone-shaped form of the volcano, with a continuous crescendo, followed by a decrescendo, whereas the aleatoric climax in between shows the tremendous activity inside.

Recent developments in the exploration of Mars have made this contemporary concert work for Symphonic Band of special interest to a curious and educated 21st-century audience. The red planet is not just fiction anymore, it is there for us to discover!

Mars: The Red Planet

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