Joy and Joy Revisited both appeared in 2005. They are companion pieces based on the same material, with Joy being geared for younger players and Joy Revisited designed for a more mature ensemble. As usual, Ticheli describes his thinking in the scores:
Above all, Joy is an expression of its namesake: simple, unabashed joy.
A boisterous, uninhibited quality is implied in the music, not only at climactic moments, but also by the frequent presence of sudden and dramatic stylistic contrasts. The main melody and overall mood of the work (and its companion piece, Joy Revisited) were inspired by a signal event: the birth of our first child. The intense feelings that most any father would feel on such a day were, in my case, accompanied by a simple little tune which grabbed hold of me in the hours preceding her birth, and refused to let go throughout the day and many days thereafter. Indeed, until I jotted it down in my sketchbook, it did not release its grip.
Seven years and two children later, I stumbled upon that old sketch and discovered (or rediscovered) that it would serve perfectly as the foundation for a joy-filled concert band overture.
About Joy and Joy Revisited
Joy, and its companion piece, Joy Revisited, are the results of an experiment I have been wanting to try for many years: the creation of two works using the same general melodic, harmonic, and expressive content. In other words, I endeavored to compose un-identical twins, two sides of the same coin – but with one major distinction: Joy was created with young players in mind, while Joy Revisited was aimed at more advanced players.
Thus, Joy is more straightforward than its companion piece. Where Joy sounds a dominant chord (as in the upbeat to measure 10), Joy Revisited elaborates upon that chord with a flourish of 16th-notes. While Joy Revisited moves faster, develops ideas further, and makes use of a wider register, Joy is more concise.
Despite these and many more differences between the two works, both come from the same essential cut of cloth, both were composed more or less simultaneously, and both were born out of the same source of inspiration. In short, Joy and Joy Revisited serve as two expressions of the feelings experienced by one expectant father (who happens also to be a composer) on one wonderfully anxious and exciting day.
Here’s a nice professional recording of Joy:
And a comparable rendition of Joy Revisited. The parallels between the two pieces are clear, as are the more rigorous challenges of the latter:
Ticheli’s publisher hosts a complete, downloadable set of mp3s of the vast majority of his large ensemble music on their website – quite a find! Click the links for more from them on Joy and Joy Revisited.
Frank Ticheli’s personal website, Frankticheli.com.
Ticheli bio on wikipedia.
Frank Ticheli’s Facebook fanclub.
A video interview with Ticheli in which he talks about composing.
For those who have forgotten, here’s my short bio on Frank Ticheli: Educated at the University of Michigan, composer Frank Ticheli (b. 1958) has become one of the biggest names in new wind band repertoire. Since 1991 he has been a Professor of Composition USC-Thornton and, until 1998, Composer in Residence of the Pacific Symphony. The recipient of many awards, he was most recently winner of the 2006 NBA/William D. Revelli Memorial Band Composition Contest for his Symphony No. 2.