The compositional techniques of Joseph Schwantner through an analysis of “From a Dark Millenium”

Frank Gonzalez, University of Texas at El Paso


Being one of the prominent composers of our time, the contributions of Joseph Schwantner to the literature of the wind band are significant. Although primarily known as an orchestral composer, he has contributed four major works to the wind band repertoire, ...and the mountains rising nowhere (1977), From a Dark Millenium (1981), In evening's stillness (1996), and RecoilPercussion Concerto, transcribed by Andrew Boysen (composed 1992, transcribed 1994), and New Morning for the World "Daybreak of World," transcribed by Nikk Pilato (composed 1982, transcribed 2004). The purpose of this document is to explore Schwantner's unique compositional style as it is expressed in his second work for wind band, From a Dark Millenium. As a composer Schwantner has contributed monumental works of art to music that represent some of the finest pieces of contemporary music and of the entire history of western music. Every work he contributes to the repertoire, specifically to the wind band repretoire, deserves careful attention, consideration, and detailed analysis. Joseph Schwantner has won multiple awards for several of his works, including the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1979 for his orchestral work Aftertones of Infinity. His contributions to the repertoire are of serious artist merit and will withstand the test of time. This document will begin with a composer biography and history of the work, followed by an analysis of compositional techniques employed in the piece through a detailed analysis of the work.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Gonzalez, Frank, "The compositional techniques of Joseph Schwantner through an analysis of “From a Dark Millenium”" (2013). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1551224.