Grade 5 (5:05)
“Paradise Lost” is a dark, ominous and adventurous piece for Concert Band. The work opens with an oboe soloist introducing the principle theme of the work. The story unfolds as the low brass and low reeds enter while the clarinets introduce the ostinato figure that later becomes the driving rhythm of the fast middle section. The chorale is presented in two keys - the first entrance in Db Major and the second in the relative Bb Minor. The powerful conclusion of the piece is written with intent to be as slow as reasonably possible for the greatest dramatic effect.
“Paradise Lost” is an ideal opportunity for teaching the “proportions” of rhythmic durations and tempo. For example, a director may wish to teach the timpani soloist to think of the triplet 16th notes as simple triplet 8th notes occurring on a pulse of the 8th note rather than counting in the traditional format. “Paradise Lost” is the perfect complimentary piece to many concert band works, especially with the contrast of its dark sonorities to the bright, charismatic style of marches and traditional concert band literature. The challenging performance aspects of the work will prove ideal for concert band festival performance as well.