Suitable for any type orchestral concert or brass chamber music
concert. Duration, 4 1/2 minutes. See Orchestration. See
Printable Documents. See Performances.
Now Available - Audio Samples!
About Musica Mobilis
is a work that was originally written for brass choir in 1996.
It was commissioned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art to pay
tribute to the work of Alexander Calder.
Born on July 22, 1898, in Philadelphia.
Mr. Calder became famous throughout the world as the visual artist
who made sculpture move. He is perhaps most famous for his work in large mobiles.
Just as his artistic mobiles are constantly moving and changing, so
is the music in “Musica
mobile has a set number of pieces that are in constant flux, creating new
images as the juxtaposition of the pieces change.
The concept for this composition is derived from the same approach.
The work opens loudly, painting the musical picture
of a person’s first impression upon seeing one of Mr. Calder’s large
mobiles. The immense stark
power of the metal work is reflected in the opening chords in the brass.
At the same time, musical harmonies and motives are being stated
that becomes the basis for the entire composition.
The main interest while listening to this work is to follow the
evolution of the music as these basic motives change position, like a
mobile. The work stays in one
basic tonality representing the unchangeable pieces of the mobile.
When examining one of Mr. Calder’s mobiles on display at the
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Mr. Beckel specifically looked at a work
entitled “Five Pieces
Suspended.” He decided
to base this work primarily on five basic notes: A, F#, G, C, and D; as
heard in the opening chords of the composition.
As these notes rearrange themselves, the music takes on different
moods, similar to the effects of the movement of a mobile.
The only real deviation from this model is an occasional E natural
used as a passing note in fast runs and a very intentional G# to cadence
the work at the very end. A
similar false cadence is also alluded to in measure 51, 52, and 53.
four and a half minute work is constantly changing, from the ominous
opening to the pensive and reflective middle section, then transforming
into an exciting finale.
Mobilis” is meant to reflect the magic of Alexander
Calder’s moving sculptures.
an optional percussion part allows this work to be performed with 2
Also written for Brass Choir.
About the Work
The Brass Choir Version
|Boston Conservatory Brass Choir
|Indianapolis Chamber Brass Choir
|Indiana University Brass Choir
|Interlochen Faculty Brass
|International Festival - Institute at
|Vallejo Symphony Brass
The Orchestral Version
|Carmel High School Orchestra
|Cedar Rapids Symphony
|Oakland Youth Orchestra
|Young People's Symphony Orchestra of
The following two audio samples
were recorded by the Chamber Brass of Indianapolis (now the Carmel Chamber
Brass) and is used with permission. Click the arrow to
begin or click on a specific track.
This text will be replaced by the flash music player.