Toccata and Fugue in D minor
Barber of Seville
Ninth Symphony (Ode to Joy)
Mid Summer Night’s Dream #9
Suite Bergamasque (Claire De Lune)
One Hand One Heart (from West Side Story)
Somewhere (from West Side Story)
The corps begins at the end – the end to the Candide overture, playing it backfield before going into the first big hit. The opening drill is very kalidescopic and fun to watch, while the first big brass hit is glorious. 80 horns and 16 tubas have that kind of effect, even when listening to the camcorder field on the Fan Network recording. The drum line has improved over last year and is a classic Lee Beddis book, full of tasteful writing which packs plenty of punch for the fans.
After the Candide ending intro, Crown plays the overture from the Barber of Seville. This piece feature the first insertion of another piece – specifically, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy melody from his Ninth Symphony. The baritones are very strong near the end of Seville. The piece ends with a “Shave and a Haircut” quote for a little fun.
The mood changes with the ballad of the show, Claire de Lune. This is performed in a very straightforward manner for most of the piece, but, in the middle, West Side Story’s One Hand, One Heart makes an appearance, followed by segments of Somewhere near the close of the piece. Michael Klesch does a wonderful job of integrating these melodies into the arrangement with seamless transitions between the different pieces. The end of the ballad features the trumpets playing a wonderful chord backfield while the low brass plays the haunting final notes to WSS. This may be one of the most moving musical moments for 2008.
The tempo picks back up for the drum solo, which also features the tubas performing the most famous of Franz Lizst’s Hungarian Rhapsodies. Not wasting time, however, the corps goes right into the closer, which is a medley of Candide, the 1812 Overture, Appalachian Spring, and Festive Overture, before finishing with the closing strains of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. I have heard the closer described as a composer who is trying to find the perfect ending, but thinks of so many that he ends up using them all, a very apt way to finish a show titled Finis. The drill finishes in a crown formation. The crowd finishes on their feet. Crown could very well finish in the Top 3 for 2008 with a very balanced package of powerful brass, tight percussion, and exciting visual.