Roger Rhodes Music, Ltd.


Notes on the compositions

Music for the Marines (Symphony #2)(1942) The year was 1942 and this country was in the thick of the Second World War... Music for the Marines was composed at the suggestion of Colonel Chester L. Fordney, USMC, who apparently envisioned a rather massive symphonic mural in which the history of the Corps was depicted. Van Vactor conceived the piece in a more manageable form. Its three movements include an opening march, an ode to the dead, and finally a march of grand proportions in which is incorporated the Marine Hymn.
Sarabande with Variations for Brass Quintet and Strings (1969) In recent years Van Vactor has turned more and more to composition of music for groups of wind instruments which until now have not been very generously endowed with literature. Since 1963 he has written an Octet for Brass Instruments, two suites for Economy Band (the first for trumpet, trombone, and percussion; the second for horn, tuba, and percussion), Flourish for Brass Quartet, Quartet of Tubas, Music for Woodwinds (a set of 36 pieces with music for all possible combinations of flute, oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon), and this Sarabande with Variations.

Statement of the theme is entrusted to the horn. In subsequent sections of the piece this idea is subjected to many transformations, sometimes emerging clearly, sometimes well disguised.