Wind Ensemble

Succession - 1935

For Wind Ensemble

Duration: 4 minutes

Grade: 4

Oil on canvas

Philips Collection, Washington DC, USA


The subtitle of the piece is the title of the above painting by Wassily Kandinsky (1866 – 1944). Kandinsky’s influence as both artist and theorist cemented his position as one of the first and most influential abstract painters. He wrote extensively on his beliefs that music and painting were inextricably linked as art forms, writing about the ”inner sound of colour" (synaesthesia), and on the subject of colour and shape (particularly geometrical elements) in abstract art.


Completed in 1935 while living in Paris, the picture is largely comprised of the ‘biomorphic’ forms that Kandinsky used in many of his later works. This picture has always interested me because unlike many others where the non-geometric shapes are seemingly floating free, here they are constrained into four, definite rows.


The opening section of the piece introduces a motif representative of the biomorphic shapes. As this motif is developed and overlaid, the piece moves gently through a series of harmonic evolutions before an abrupt interruption, which represents the introduction of the painting’s lines. From here on, the minimalist, mechanical accompaniment competes with the music of the free-form shapes, as the two, contrasting elements move ever-closer together.


Between The Lines was written for the University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minnesota, USA) High School Honor Band Festival, October 2016.



Picc., Fls. 1.2, Obs. 1.2, Bb Cls. 1.2.3, Bb B. Cl., Bssns 1.2,
Eb A. Sax 1.2, Bb Ten. Sax., Eb Bar. Sax.,
Bb Tpts.
, F Hns., Trbs 1.2.3, Euph., Tubas 1.2,

Timp., Perc. 1.2.3

Additional Notes:

Written for a High School level band, the scoring takes account of those instruments that might not be present and as such, important entries in instruments such as Oboes and Bassoons are cued elsewhere, while the Double Bass part can be considered optional. Please note that scores and parts are available in various sizes, and in the case of PDF downloads, sold separately.

Copyright 2019