Smash the Windows (2001)

Based on A Traditional Irish Jig

Duration:  2 ½ minutes
2+pic.22+bcl2.4sax/42212bar/timp.4perc(5th player ad lib.)/pf(ad lib.)/stbass

Commissioned by the American Composers Forum/New Band Horizons Project

Premiere Performance:  May 15, 2001; Apollo Jr. High School Band

Robert Xavier Rodríguez attends a rehearsal of Smash the Window

Program Note:

Smash the Windows, based on a traditional Irish jig, was commissioned by the American Composers Forum as part of the New Band Horizons Project.  The work was completed in Dallas in January of 2001 and premiered that Spring by the Apollo Junior High School Wind Ensemble in Richardson, Texas, Robert Straka, conductor.  Smash the Windows is one of Rodríguez’ four works for wind ensemble, along with the widely-performed ballet, The Seven Deadly Sins (1984), Latin Celebration (2000) and Decem Perfectum (2002).

Smash the Windows  is a vigorous 2½-minute toccata moto perpetuo, with brilliant sixteenth-note background figuration constantly juxtaposed with the triplets of the original jig melody.  The work is constructed in a series of three-bar harmonic segments in which the chords shift gradually, one note at a time, through a five-key sequence.  The musical texture expands dramatically throughout the work:  beginning softly, building continually and culminating in a shattering climax (literally, with the members of the band shouting “Smash the windows!” followed by the sound of broken glass in the percussion section).