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maecenas music - wind bands and ensembles

War of the Worldsfor Wind Orchestra

Gorb, Adam

The inspiration for WAR OF THE WORLDS came from the celebrated novel about a possible Martian invasion by the former Bromley resident, author H. G. Wells. It is a large scale 20 minute work in five clearly defined sections. A slow, brooding opening with an atmosphere of suppressed menace culminates in a thematically significant solo bass trombone acting as a messenger from a far off place. There follows an out-of-control passage signifying blind panic leading to a fearsome climax which melts into the third section dominated by descending nebulous chords and a glassily nostalgic celeste solo recalling safer times. This is cruelly cut short by four off-stage saxophones representing the invading Martians playing the same repeating pattern while walking to their seats in the orchestra. A violent allegro follows dominated by this motif eventually reaching a percussion dominated plateau where the whole ensemble becomes ‘infected’ before collapsing. The final part features a long impassioned ‘human’ oboe solo (using material already heard on the bass trombone) which increasingly finds warmer support from the ensemble. At the very end of the work the off-stage bass trombone returns and the mood darkens. The Martians may have been destroyed, but what of the future?

Grade AB 7-8 US 5

c:20 minutes


Set and Score

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Score preview


War of the Worlds Gorb

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