Friday, December 19, 2014

CCC 121 - Jan Segers

This installment of the Consonant Classical Challenge is rather unusual. I'm continually searching for composers to add to the series. I ran across Jan Segers's name in a list, which is usually my starting point. I then went to YouTube to audition his music.

It definitely fit the criteria (a living composer writing tonally-based music), so I tried to research Segers' background -- and hit a wall. Unlike most other composers I've profiled, neither Segers nor any of his publishers have any significant information about him online There's not even a Wikipedia entry!

I can tell you that Belgian composer Jan Segers was born in 1929, and seems to have specialized in band and wind ensemble music. Some of his works are used as competition pieces, and a few (judging by their frequency on YouTube) are popular repertoire choices.

Flashes for Band has all the characteristics of a Segers composition. It opens with strong, triadic chords interspersed with more complex harmonies (with added 7ths and 9ths) for contrast. Pop-inspired melodies abound, making this a fun work to listen to (as well as to play, I suspect).

Suite is a more advanced work. There are still some triadic fanfares, but the canonic treatment of the meloodic material presents more of a challenge for the players.

Conclusions has a nice, full-bodied ensemble sound. Segers understands -- and exploits -- the full potential of the wind ensemble.

Most band directors stick with the tried and true, and that's too band. Many contemporary composers have written challenging and engaging works for wind ensemble that deserve to be performed. Jan Segers, man of mystery (at least to me), is one such example!

Recommended Recordings

Essay for Horn and Band - Jan Segers (Horn: André Van Driessche)

Conclusion - Jan Segers

No comments:

Post a Comment