Le Penseur – (the Thinker)

Le Penseur – (the Thinker)

InstrumentationWind Band
Duration13 minutes
PublisherJanssen Music
Demo Score→ Download

Le Penseur (Full Midi)

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When The Thinker was conceived in its original size (approx. 70 cm) in 1880 as the crowning achievement of The Gates of Hell, seated on the tympanum, it was given the title The Poet. He represented Dante, author of the Divine Comedy who had inspired The Gates, bent over to observe the circles of hell, meditating on his work. The Thinker was therefore initially both a being with a tortured body, almost a damned soul, and a free-thinking man, determined to transcend his suffering through poetry. The pose of this figure owes much to Carpeaux’s Ugolino (1861) and to the seated portrait of Lorenzo de’ Medici carved by Michelangelo (1526-31).

Remaining in place on the monumental Gates of Hell, The Thinker was exhibited individually in 1888, becoming an independent work. The colossal version, enlarged in 1904, proved even more popular: this sculpture of a man lost in thought, but whose powerful body suggests a great capacity for action, has become one of the most celebrated sculptures ever. There are numerous casts worldwide, including the one now in the gardens of the Musée Rodin, a gift to the City of Paris installed outside the Panthéon in 1906, and another in the gardens of Rodin’s house in Meudon, on the sculptor’s tomb and his wife.

A challenging composition for wind orchestra based on several “leidmotifs”, written from the perspective of the thinker, who ponders the different emotions and characters of the leitmotifs before coming to a conclusion, but with an open ending, because after all, the thoughts go on again…

Also sprach Zarathustra – Richard Strauss

Also sprach Zarathustra – Richard Strauss

‘Also sprach Zarathustra!’, (‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’) is a tone poem by Richard Strauss, composed in 1896 and inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical novel ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra!’. The composer conducted its first performance on 27 November 1896 in Frankfurt.

The piece is divided into nine sections played with only three definite pauses. Strauss named the sections after selected chapters of Nietzsche’s novel highlighting  major moments of the character Zarathustra’s philosophical journey in the novel. The general storylines and ideas in these chapters were the inspiration used to build the tone poem’s structure.

The initial fanfare (‘Sunrise’) became well known after its use in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’  and was also often used as a portent of a significant event to come or regularly used for space-related scenes.

Publisher: → Baton Music

explanation text: © Baton Music



InstrumentationFanfare Band
Duration15 minutes
PublisherJanssen Music
Demo Score→ Download

Skines (Full Midi)

Skines was commissioned by “Fanfare St. Caecilia Schinnen” (NL).

Skines is an old name for the village and the landscape around the Limburg village of Schinnen. It means to shine or glare.

In three merging parts, the musical story is told of a kestrel that, while praying (looking for prey), absorbs, undergoes, adapts and (triumphantly) survives all the appearances or brilliance (in both positive and negative sense) within the landscape.

The apparitions are a metaphor for elements, influences and/or sounds (without a concrete name) within the regions, which can be seen from the air and which have a major influence on the flora and fauna, as well as the people in the Limburg landscape.

The second part describes the kestrel (sung the soprano voice) the feeling these apparitions evoke in him. The text is a free translation (in German) of a short poem from “The Chinese Flute” by the Chinese writer Li-Tai-Po (701-762);

In dem Fremde

In fremdem Lande lag ich.
Weißen Glanz malte der Mond
vor meine Lagerstätte.

Ich hob das Haupt, Ich meinte erst,
es sei der Reif der Frühe,
was ich schimmern sah,
dann aber wußte ich:
der Mond, der Mond,
und neigte das Gesicht zur Erde hin.
Und meine Heimat winkte mir von fern.

Live recording during WMC 2022 – Fanfare St. Caecilia Schinnen (NL) – Theo Wolters, conductor – Claudia Couwenbergh, soprano



InstrumentationWind Band
Duration15 minutes
PublisherJanssen Music
Demo Score→ Download

(Re)Connected – Full Midi

… is a musical adventure for concert band, commissioned by the “Royal Military Band Johan Willem Friso” (NL) and their chief-conductor Tijmen Botma.

Due to the Covid pandemic, there have been hardly live performances by orchestras around the world for (sometimes more than) a year. With this work an attempt is made to make renewed contact with the numerous concert audience. 

(Re)Connected is therefore a work in which famous melodies of grandmasters from the past are connected in a special way and in which a (renewed) interaction between musicians and the audience takes place.

The work opens with Toccata by Claudio Monteverdi from “Orfeo”. Subsequently, the 1st cello sonata by Johann Sebastian Bach takes a prominent place, with a quartet of musicians interacting with the material.

On the basis of the exhibited themes, a fugal structure develops in which new material is used from the Overture “Entführung aus dem Serail” and the final movement from “Die Kleine Nachtmusik” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

After this virtuoso intermezzo peace returns with the famous theme of the adagio from the 9th symphony (“from the new world”) by Anton Dvorak. From this develops a dramatic part based on main theme of Dvorak 9th.

After a brief recollection of Bach and the “(Re)Connected” motif, which is clearly discernible throughout the work, the finale begins based on the impressive theme “Ode to joy” from Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th symphony.

An interactive musical adventure in which musicians and audience are (re)connected with the so beloved grandmasters from music history.

The Muses

The Muses

InstrumentationDouble Quintet
(+ Contrabass)
Duration12 minutes
PublisherJanssen Music
Demo Score→ Download

This composition was commissioned by wind ensemble “Helicon” on the occasion of their 40th anniversary.

From the Heliconian Muses let us begin to sing,

Who hold the great and holy mount of Helicon,

And dance on soft feet about the deep-blue spring

And the altar of the almighty son of Cronos, and,

When they have washed their tender bodies in Permessus

Or in the Horse’s Spring or Olmeius,

Make their fair, lovely dances upon highest Helicon And move with vigorous feet.

From “Theogony” by Hesiod (± 715 BC)

In ancient Greek religion and mythology, the Muses are the inspirational goddesses of literature, science and the arts. Under the care of the god Apollo, they were considered the source of the knowledge embodied in the poetry, lyric songs and myths that were related orally for centuries in ancient Greek culture.

Full Midi Demo

The nine Muses

CalliopeThe beautiful voiceMuse of the heroic epic,
philosophy and rhetoric.
EratoThe lovableMuse of the hymn, the song and the lyricism.
EuterpeThe joyfulMuse of flute playing.
PolyhymniaThe rich in chantsMuse of rhetoric and sacred songs.
KleioThe proclaimingMuse of historiography.
MelpomeneThe singingMuse of song and tragedy.
UraniaThe heavenlyMuse of Astronomy.
TerpsichoreShe who loves to danceMuse of dance and lyrical poetry.
ThaleiaThe festive & floweringMuse of comedy.

Tod und Verklärung – Richard Strauss

Tod und Verklärung – Richard Strauss

Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration), Op. 24, is a tone poem for large orchestra by Richard Strauss.

Strauss began composition in the late summer of 1888 and completed the work on 18 November 1889.

The work is dedicated to the composer’s friend Friedrich Rosch. The music depicts the death of an artist. At Strauss’s request, this was described in a poem by the composer’s friend Alexander Ritter as an interpretation of ‘Tod und Verklärung’, after it was composed.

As the man lies dying, thoughts of his life pass through his head: his childhood innocence, the struggles of his manhood, the attainment of his worldly goals; and at the end, he receives the longed-for transfiguration ‘from the infinite reaches of heaven’.

Publisher: → Baton Music

explanation text: © Baton Music

Requiem – Giuseppe Verdi

Requiem – Giuseppe Verdi

After Gioachino Rossini’s death in 1868, Giuseppe Verdi suggested that a number of Italian composers collaborate on a Requiem in Rossini’s honor. Unfortunately the project was abandoned by the organisation. But not much later, upon hearing of the death of the Italian writer and humanist Alessandro Manzoni, Giuseppe Verdi resolved to complete a Requiem, this time entirely of his own writing.

The ‘Messa da Requiem’ is a musical setting of the Catholic funeral mass (Requiem) for four soloists, double choir and orchestra. It is rarely performed in liturgy, but rather in concert form of around 85-90 minutes in length.

text: © Baton Music

Publisher: → Baton Music



InstrumentationWind Orchestra & Tenor Voice
Duration15 minutes
PublisherJanssen Music
Demo Score→ Download
Remount (Full Midi)

Remount is based on the eponymous story of James D. Newton, about the impressive experiences as a soldier during Word War 2.

Remount is an old cavalry term. The noun describes a “fresh horse”. The intransitive verb means “to mount again”. And mount again is the story as recalled by James D. Newton after all these years.

This work was commissioned by “Koninklijke Oude Harmonie van Eijsden (NL)” – for celebrating 75 years of liberation after World War 2 and it is dedicated to the heroes who liberated us.

The work consists of five parts:

  1. Yesterday, 1944 – ‘Move out!’
  2. Die graue Tagen und lange Nachten – Fall Campaign
  3. The Bulge – ‘Remount’
  4. Fiddlers’ Green – the cavalry poem
  5. The day after yesterday, 1945 – ‘Dismount’ – Liberty

→ Fiddlers’ Green (part 4) is based on the cavalry poem.

Fiddlers’ Green

Halfway down the trail to Hell,
In a shady meadow green
Are the Souls of all dead Troopers camped,
Near a good old-time canteen.
And this eternal resting place
Is known as Fiddlers’ Green.

Marching past, straight through to Hell
The Infantry are seen
Accompanied by the Engineers, Artillery and Marines,
For none but the shades of Cavalrymen
Dismount at Fiddler’s Green.

Though some go curving down the trail 
To seek a warmer scene.
No Trooper ever gets to Hell
Ere he’s emptied his canteen.

And so rides back to drink again
With friends at Fiddlers’ Green.

Highlights from the world premiere by “Koninklijke Oude Harmonie” Eijsden (NL)
Jacques Claessens, conductor – Pascal Pittie, tenor