Song Without Words by David Lang was awarded the Grand Prize in the Reveille Trumpet Collective’s International Composition Competition in 2011. From over two dozen entries from around the world, this piece was chosen for its mysterious nature, and its haunting lyricism.
This piece is a “song” in the sense that it is a lyrical piece which is expressing something, but it is “without words” because it’s difficult to describe what it’s trying to express. It is a dialogue between two people who have known each other intimately for a long time, But they can’t quite connect or understand each other. The piano plays only one note, a B natural, for the entire piece. Around this, the flugelhorn plays its own forlorn, meandering melodies, searching desperately for a common point of understanding with the piano.
Performance Notes: This piece will work best with a grand piano, preferably in a reverberant acoustic. The piano player will need a pair of soft percussion mallets (yarn) and hard percussion mallets (glockenspiel mallets), and will need to be able to play on the strings inside the piano. To assist in striking to right tone, it is advisable to mute the strings immediately adjacent to the B natural.
-David J. Lang
Includes Piano Score and part for Flugelhorn in Bb.