Score of the Month - Recollections by Norbert Palej

Norbert Palej

Norbert Palej


Vigilance, Game, Prayer for Wind Ensemble

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If you and your band enjoy working at a challenging score such as Dance Sequence by Marco Pütz, or even the quirkiness of Bridgewater Breeze or Sunrise and Safari by Adam Gorb, you will probably all enjoy Recollections by Norbert Palej, a young Polish composer now Professor of Composition in Toronto University. I first fell in love with Norbert's music when listening to ravishing choral pieces sung by the Cornell Glee Club. One lunch date later, and he had agreed to write me a Percussion Concerto and a piece for School Bands.

The term "recollections" can be understood in at least two ways. On the most basic level, it means "memories". However, there is also the deeper and more constructive way to recollect than merely to reminisce or dwell on things past and gone: it is to "recollect oneself" - to rethink one's life and actions, and to collect and focus one's spirit. This piece depicts three different modes of recollection: through vigilance (being mentally restful yet alert), through play (enjoying the company of friends), and through prayer (contemplating the metaphysical). "Three miniatures of Ravelian distiction, a must for all serious wind ensembles". The first movement is a moto perpetuo movement, quasi minimalist, while the second bounds around joyously. The third begins restlessly, exploring various chromaticisms and keys until finally establishing the tonic in a blaze of glory. The work lasts about 11 minutes.