Blue Shades (25th Anniversary Edition) - Concert Band

Catalog: 9781599132488

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I completed the original manuscript for Blue Shades on December 31, 1995, and although I knew then that I had created something fresh, I had no idea that it would be destined to become one of my most celebrated works.

After experiencing so many performances of Blue Shades over the years - many with me as a guest conductor - it's no surprise that my relationship with the work has evolved. I am now drawn to certain inner voices and coloristic effects in the piece - ones I barely noticed 25 years ago. I now like to move the tempo faster than the metronome marking I had originally provided; I have learned from countless conductors who have shared their insights and unique interpretations, many of which managed to reveal thigns I didn't even know had existed in the piece; and all the while their ideas have enriched my thinking about the piece and enhanced my own interpretation.

The evolution I speak of has also been shaped by practical matters: From the very first rehearsal, I can usually predict the moments that will sound convincing, but I can also predict the moments that will rarely come easily. I can cite spots where the notation is crystal clear, requiring no further explanation, and spots where the players could use some verbal indications. Of course, there are also revelations of hindsight. For example, I now wonder why I decided to put that fermata in the first bar. I now know that I should have included a string bass part to enhance the jazzy walking bass passages. And, yes, I should never have given the clarinet soloist the option of sitting. Now, it is obvious to virtually everyone that it just isn't Blue Shades if the soloist sits; it wasn't so obvious back then.

Finally, there is the inescapable fact that the original edition contains quite a few errors. It is nevertheless a remarkable engraving, created by hand (using Leroy template, for those in the know) by Frank Halamka. Most of the errors are not even audible (and that's partly why I never caught them), and we do provide an onoine errata, but those errors are still there in the hard copies, serving as constant reminders of my "humanness". I have for many years dreamed that one day I could correct all of them in a new edition.

I've done more than merely correct the errors for this 25th Anniversary Edition. I have looked carefully at much of the scoring, marking hundreds of revisions with an eye towards adjusting not only tiny detail, but bold effect. The tempo is now faster than in the original, articulations have been clarified, beaming has been altered, a String Bass part has been added (it enhances the walking bass during the stand-up clarinet solo), dynamics have been adjusted, verbal indications have been added to clarify and intensity intended musical effects, important musical lines have been reinforced where needed. And the score itself is now 11 x 17.

I am delighted to offer this 25th Anniversary Edition of Blue Shades, and I am certain it will enable conductors and performers to breathe exhilarating new life into their performances of the piece.

Publisher: Manhattan Beach
Composer/Author: Ticheli, Frank
Catalog Number: 9781599132488