Concert Band

Halloween Suite, Op.57

Tuesday, 02 July 2019

Concert Music / Symphonic Suite

Grade 4

15.30 min. approx.

Symphonic suite for wind band winner of the VII International Symphonic Music Composition Award for Band “Vila de Muro” 2019.

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Program notes

Winner of the VII International Symphonic Music Composition Award for Band “Vila de Muro”; 2019.

I. March of the Darkness
II. Wizards' Interlude
III. Ghost Waltz
IV. Evil's Chorale
V. Zombies Party

As its name suggests, the Halloween Suite is a symphonic suite for wind band, inspired by the Halloween holiday. Divided into five thematic movements, gloomy and sinister, this composition aims to evoke various scenes of terror that, according to an obscure legend happened once during the longest night of the year. It should not be forgotten that for many cultures Halloween is the only time when that the world of the dead is reborn to live together with the world of the living. For this reason and with the objective of truly achieving the union of the spiritual and the earthly, the composer uses the musical creation of a composition based on numerological magic, thus building a symbolic composition that goes beyond its purely musical aspects.

The Halloween Suite begins with a “March of Darkness”, through which all the dead begin to awaken from their eternal sleep to escape from their graves and return to the world in which they were born many years before. At the beginning of that night – that of October 31 to November 1 – and under the light of the moon, a horde of hideous and stinking creatures teeming with worms and other disgusting insects constantly appear under the damp earth of the cemeteries.  After rising up with difficulty, they begin to walk to the rhythm of the march, abandoning their tombs and advancing like a grotesque army towards towns inhabited by the living.

Meanwhile, in a cave not far away, a group of magicians finalize their potions and review for the last time, the spells they will use to fight against the most- evil beings, those demons who, after escaping from the cemeteries, intend to destroy all traces of life on the face of the earth. Through the “Wizard’s Interlude” the spectators travel to the place where these sorcerers have gathered and will see everything that happens to them there. But not all the dead are reborn, only through the darkness of Halloween, as there are many villagers who know the story of the enamored ghosts who appear every night of a full moon in the rooms of the Haunted Castle to dance a romantic and languid waltz. During the melancholic “ValsFantasma” [Ghost Waltz] one can attend the nuptial dance of the ghosts of the long-ago crown prince and his wife, both brutally murdered on their wedding night at the hands of the prince’s cruel younger brother, who was willing to do anything in order to inherit the kingdom. The spirits of this couple still refuse to leave their palace.

Once the moon rises above the dark mist, the perverse devil begins his macabre plan, which is to awaken the ferocious Fire Dragon so that his flames will devastate the world and mercilessly kill the living and the dead. In the “Devil’s Chorale” the prophecy comes true: the devil begins to play the enormous organ of the underworld with all this fury until he awakens the fearsome beast.  Fortunately, the wizards show up before the dragon reaches the first town and engage in a fierce fight of magic and fire that ends with the death of the dragon and the return of the devil to the world of the dead.

Finally, humans and the living dead hold “The Zombie Party” to celebrate their salvation thanks to the magnanimous power of the wizards. Macabre and horrendous creatures dance together with young and old villagers to the rhythm of the music of this happy final movement with which the composition ends.

Halloween Suite is the winner of the VII International Prize for Symphonic Music Composition for Band “Vila de Muro” 2019, considered by specialists and critics as the best symphonic composition contest for band worldwide. This suite, which follows the award given in the previous edition to the composition “Fifty Shades of E” by renowned composer Johan de Meij, represents the culmination of intense and meticulous creative work that took five long years. Among its objectives are those of enriching band music’s heritage in a field that is as necessary as it is practically unexplored (there is hardly any original band music for the celebration of Halloween), promoting the personal and artistic development of wind and percussion musicians in an educational and attractive way, and the creation of a musical work of sufficient quality to engage the public and encourage them to continue enthusiastically attending band concerts.



March 10th, 2019
Centro Cultutral de Muro (Valencia, SPAIN)
Unió Musical de Muro / Rafael García Vidal, conductor



Halloween Suite








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