Guest post by Michael Purves-Smith
High Flight, by Joseph Turrin (1947 – )
This challenging work was written in 2008 for the United States Air force Band, certainly a contender for the finest band in the world. It is a work that capitalizes fully on the virtuosic resources of that group, as the composer captures the spirit of the famous poem of the same name.
The young American poet trained as a pilot in Ontario and was serving with the RCAF in Britain at the time of his death in 1941, aged 19.
Turrin, who is one of America’s most distinguished composers in a very wide range of genre, dedicated the work to the American pilots who flew during the Spanish Civil War, but it evokes much more generally the breathless excitement the poem describes. In truth some of the players partake of that breathlessness.
A beautiful performance of the work by the California State University Wind Symphony under the direction of John Carnahan is available on YouTube.
Come and hear the Wellington Winds perform this exciting music. Nothing beats a live performance!
High Flight is part of our exciting program, Music from Other Worlds.