composition

Bug ‘n’ Bear Suite

for Brass Quintet

  • Genre
    Chamber
  • Commissioned by/written for
  • Year completed
    1995
  • Year revised
  • Timing
    10:20
  • Catalog number
    151
No items found.
  • copies sold
  • 3
    known performances
  • General notes

Bug 'n; Bear Suite

I. Fanfare on C.A.C.-D.E.C II. Bug 'n' Bear Song III. Turnin' 40 Ain't So Bad IV. Music for a Nuptial Day
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The Bug 'n' Bear Suite is the most unabashedly autobiographical work in my entire compositional output. The title derives from the pet names that my wife and I call each other (she is the "Bug," I, the "Bear".) Two of the movements were written in 1984 for the occasion of our wedding, the first movement being played immediately before the processional, and the last during the prelude music. The "Fanfare" is based entirely on the notes drawn from the initials of Carole Ann Carpenter and David Ellis Canfield (my birth name). These pitches are first heard sequentially, and then combined in the final measures to represent our union as husband and wife. The second movement, "Bug 'n' Bear Song," is based on a ditty that Carole and I used to (and occasionally still do) sing to each other. The tune was composed spontaneously by the two of us, singing its phrases in alternation to each other. This movement, and the following one, were added to the suite on the occasion of Carole's 40th birthday. The whole suite received its premiere on July 11, 1995 at Carole's favorite Bloomington restaurant as a surprise to her by an ensemble that included James Klages on the first trumpet part. The restaurant, normally closed on that day of the week, opened up especially so that I could take my wife there for her birthday, the "Fanfare" being played as she walked through the door. The third movement, "Turnin' 40 Ain't So Bad," is a somber movement, as if to belie its title. The music is based on a Christmas carol, What Do We Celebrate, that I had written shortly before. After a literal statement of the carol--unusual in that it was written in five parts instead of the traditional four--the remainder of the movement is spun out from the carol. The final movement, "Music for a Nuptial Day," is a lively and vigorous work, the longest of the suite, and incorporates the ubiquitous wedding tunes by Wagner and Mendelssohn in humorous ways throughout. The work was given its public premiere by the Canfield Brass Quintet at the University of Central Oklahoma at the Chiefly Canfield Festival in February of 2001.

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