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The Engulfed Cathedral

Claude Debussy/arr. Robert Longfield

The Engulfed Cathedral recalls an old Breton legend. Ys is a mythical city on the coast of Brittany that is said to have been swallowed by the ocean because of misbehavior by its residents. Once a year, when the sea is transparent and the morning mist has cleared, the majestic cathedral rises from the watery depths. Tolling of bells and chanting of priests can be heard. Then slowly the vision is again engulfed by the waves.

Composer Claude Debussy (1862-1918) is considered the founder of modern French impressionism. His compositions employed non-traditional scales and tonal structures, seeming at first bewildering in their imaginative, atmospheric quality. His music is noted for its sensory component and how it is not often formed around one key or pitch. His compositions, distinctive and appealing, combine modernism and sensuality so successfully that their sheer beauty often obscures their technical innovation.

Robert Longfield (b.1952) is a composer, arranger, conductor and educator. Best known for his compositions for concert band and string orchestra, he has over 200 published works to his credit. He earned degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Miami and taught in public schools in Michigan and Florida for over thirty-five years. Retired, he is conductor of the Greater Miami Symphonic Band.

Last updated on November 16, 2015 by Palatine Concert Band