Paul Lovatt-Cooper: Enter the Galaxies

Context

Composed in 2008, and dedicated to the Cory Band, Paul Lovatt-Cooper Enter the Galaxies received its premiere at the prestigious Sage in Gateshead. Cory performed the work as part of their winning performance at the 2008 Brass in Concert Championships. The work has become a favourite in many band rooms, and is often used as an effective concert opener. 

As the title suggests, Enter the Galaxies takes inspiration from the last century of space exploration. Lovatt-Cooper quotes NASA in his programme notes to sum up his thoughts:

 

“By nature, human beings are explorers. For thousands of years, we’ve pushed beyond our boundaries, broadening our minds and imaginations with each new discovery. The same spirit of exploration is the driving force of the USA’s Kennedy Space Center. At the beginning of the 21st century, we stand at a unique time in our exploration of the heavens. NASA has defined space travel as we know it, and the exploratory voyages of our past and future now give us the potential within our lifetimes to discover the unknown.”

 

The Music

Fizzing with excitement and curiosity, the introduction sees a whirlwind of triplets and semiquavers from the cornets, which is accompanied by the glockenspiel. The rest of the band play a bold and powerful fanfare sequence. As the band unite into a dialogue of decorated chords, the music slips into the first section.

Led by the solo horn, the soloist line is lyrical and effectively juxtaposes the opening. The euphonium takes over the soloist line after a tuned percussion interlude. The lyrical line is juxtaposed by virtuosic counter-melodies, largely led by the principal cornet. As the percussion and basses keep the tempo driving, this space exploration takes an exciting turn as Lovatt-Cooper modulates the band.

The cornets take the lead here with the melody, as the piercing glockenspiel sparkles as the accompaniment. The music begins to grow in intensity as most of the previously heard themes are united, creating a smorgasbord of sounds around the band. The exploration really does take flight as the euphonium and soprano cornet slide into a glissando that leads the band into the most exciting part of the piece.

The brief coda section leads to a truly spectacular finale as the main melodic theme comes to its ultimate climax. The powerful and totally brilliant final chord finishes Enter the Galaxies off in true intergalactic style.

 

Final Thoughts

Full of exciting twists and turns, Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s Enter the Galaxies celebrates all things space discovery in this piece. From the space-like opening to the bold and heroic theme threaded through the music, Enter the Galaxies is fizzing with excitement and wonder.

 

Happy Reading!

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You might also enjoy… Philip Sparke: The Year of the Dragon

 

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