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The Garden of Earthly Delights

Symphonic Wind Band | grade 5 | 15 min

The composition is based on the painting "The Garden of Earthly Delights" by Jheronimus Bosch from 1480-1490. In this triptych the painter creates an imaginary world full of exotic creatures and human figures. Heaven, earth and hell are depicted from left to right. In that order the painting also forms a guideline for the composition, from the sparkling start of the work to the hellish chaos at the end. The presence of a number of musical instruments is striking in the right panel, with one very unfortunate man. He is not only crushed by the intersection of a lute and a harp, but apparently ended up with his backside between a printing press. On his buttocks we read the musical notes that form the basic material for the whole work. 

Tramontana. A Wind Concerto

Symphonic Wind Band | grade 6 | 20 min

Just like the more well-known Mistral winds in Southern France, Tramontana is a peculiar meteorological phenomenon that was given a name of its own (transmontanus, Latin: “across the mountains”). This strong wind blows from north to south over the Pyrenees. The specific formations of the mountains cause the wind to speed up. The so-called Venturri effect creates a vortex which compresses the air and increases the speed of the wind up to more than 150 km/h.

The subtitle of this composition is A Wind Concerto, and refers both to the wind in a literal sense as to the concept of a Wind Band. The score is challenging for each instrument group, resembling a Concerto for Orchestra. I have also included some references to the most famous composer of such a Concerto for Orchestra, Béla Bartók.

Tramontana was commissioned by the Koninklijk HarmonieOrkest Schelle (KHOS) and conductor Dirk De Caluwe. The musical material is derived from the letters of the orchestra and the conductor’s name. The initials of Dirk resulted in the motif D-D-C, while the abbreviation KHOS was translated into the pitches G-Bflat-D-Fsharp (a minor-major-seventh chord), according to a system of chromatic letter-to-pitch assignment. Nearly all elements in this composition can be derived from these motives or combinations 

Rush! A Sports Rhapsody

Symphonic Wind Band | grade 5 | 10 min

Rush! is a musical expression of the feeling that sports can give. The work was commissioned by Herwig Reynaert and Bart van Grysperre in connection with their book Olympische (over)winnaars, in which they tell the stories of Olympic athletes whose careers were interrupted or ended by the First and Second World Wars. Throughout the composition, a fast pulse can be heard almost continuously. The work begins with a heartbeat that gradually accelerates: the adrenaline rises and then bursts into a fast tempo in which woodwinds and brass fire each other up. 

Tetraktys

Symphonic Wind Band | grade 4 | 11 min

Tetraktys was commissioned by the Ghent University Wind Band GUHO (Gents Universitair HarmonieOrkest) for the occasion of their tenth anniversary. This birthday is shared with conductor Dimitri Bracke, who has enthusiastically held the baton over the band since the beginning. Since this is a band consisting of university students, Klaas Coulembier thought it would be appropriate to make reference to an ancient philosopher who was also important for music: Pythagoras. In his writings, we learn that the number 10 is a special number, being the sum of the first four natural numbers. This is combined in the symbol of the Tetraktys, a triangle built of four lines of dots with respectively 1, 2, 3 and 4 elements.

Resilience

Symphonic Wind Band | grade 4 | 8 min

This work was commissioned by the Royal Ypriana Wind Band of Ypres. The first performance of the work took place during the concert series "Ypres As We Remember" on 30 April 2015.

The assignment for this work was to write a composition that fits in with the commemoration of World War I, without putting war itself at the center but considering how the war is commemorated, especially in and around Ypres.how the war is commemorated, especially in and around Ypres.

In 1920, the Canadian Lieutenant Colonel Henry Beckles Willson published a book entitled Ypres, Holy Ground or British Arms. He describes the idyllic city as it looked before the war and also gives an accurate account of the three 'battles of Ypres'. He also criticizes (then already!) the way that middle-class people from other cities in Ypres opened cafes and taverns to make a profit on the war of war tourism.

In the foreword to the book, Henry Beckles Willson makes an ardent plea for preserving the ruins of Ypres as a kind of open-air museum and memorial. The bombed city would thus be a witness of the war, a reminder for future generations of the frenzied years 1914-1918. The Ypres population, however, proved resilient (hence the title Resilience, Resilience) and decided to restore the medieval city as much as possible.

This composition plays with the possibility that Ypres would have effectively become a large open air memorial. During the opening dimensions of the work Ypres is completely in ruins. The rapid alternation between dreary, dark passages and more uplifting fragments points to the tension between those who want to preserve the ruins and the people who want to take back their normal lives. A slow middle section refers to the scenario where the city would be effectively reduced to memorial. After this musical reflection the lust for life of the townspeople takes the upper hand in a stirring movement. As a final the fast and slow themes are placed on top of each other. Ypres as it is today: a bustling city that at the same time commemorates the commemoration of the past.

Awards


Also available for Brass Band and Fanfare Band


Performances


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© Leen Vandenhende

Chronological Work List

Wind/Brass/Fanfare Band

Menin Gate Memorial Suite (2007, revisie 2014)

wind band, choir, soprano (opt), 30 minutes

Resilience (2015)

commissioned by the Royal Ypriana Wind Band
wind band, 8 minutes

fanfare band, 8 minutes

The Swirl (2017)

wind band, 4 minutes

wind band, 4 minutes

commissioned by VLAMO, compulsory work Flemish Open 2019
wind band, 15 minutes, Grade 6

commissioned by Royal Wind Band Schelle
wind band, 20 minutes, Grade 6+

Tetraktys (2019)

commissioned by GUHO
wind band, 10 minutes, Grade 4,5

Vista (2020)

wind band, 4 minutes, Grade 3

part of Caleidoscope, a tribute composition to Dirk De Caluwe, 2 minutes

commissioned by prof. Herwig Reynaert & Bart Vangrysperre
wind band, 10 minutes, Grade 5

Nemo Rhapsody (2021, rev. 2023-24)

commissioned by Bernd Van Echelpoel & Kevin Van Giel
Solo Euphonium, Solo Bass Tuba, brass band, 9 minutes

Crossing Roads (2022)

commissined by De Xaverianen, Grade 4
wind band, 10 minutes

Au-delà de l'Avenir (2022)

commissioned by Koninklijke Harmonie Eendracht Aalbeke-Kortrijk
wind band, 15 minutes , Grade 4,5

The Guild of Roslar (2022-2023)

commissioned by Koninklijke Harmonie "Het Gildemuziek" Roeselare
wind band, 10 minutes, Grade 3,5

Ashes to Blossoms. A story of resilience (2023-2024)

recomposition of the earlier composition Resilience (2015)
brass band, 13 minutes, Grade 5

The Last Judgement (2023-... , in progress)

wind band, 15 minutes, Grade 6

Chamber Music

Dyptiek (2005)

trumpet, euphonium, piano, 4 minutes

clarinet choir, 3 minutes

commissioned by Inge Smedts
piccolo/flute & marimba, 5 minutes

clarinet choir, 4 minutes

Encounters (2018)

commissioned by Hectuor Ensemble
oboe, saxophone, harp, piano, 8 minutes

Horn Seasons: Summer. The Hot Season (2019)

commissioned by Horns4AllSeasons
horn octet, 5 minutes

Horn Seasons: Spring. The Romantic Season (2020)

commissioned by Horns4AllSeasons
horn octet, 5 minutes

Embrassements Musicaux (2020/2023)

commissioned by Cosy Brass Quartet
brass quartet, 6 minutes

commissioned by VLAMO
flexiband (8 parts), 6 minutes

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