Lonely Beach: Normandy 1944

Catalog numbers: 

SMC S655FS/ HL 3777950

Duration (minutes): 
Detailed Instrumentation: 
Concert Band + SSA
"Lonely Beach" is a tone poem about some isolated and not particularly attractive beaches on the northern coast of France which, for a few hours on late Spring day in 1944, were transformed into the most important location in the violent history of the 20th Century.  The first half of this tone poem attempts to depict what a single soldier might have seen on that cold, misty morning.  It begins with the wind and the sound of the waves, then gradually builds as the assault begins.  Off-state trumpets and percussion are emplyed in this work to help portray the incredible panic and total chaos of the situation.  The music builds into a frenzy and becomes more complex and confusing until, ultimately, the soldier runs up the beach and is struck by the bullet which kills him.  The second half of this work (beginning with the entrance of a female chorus) is a eulogy for all the soldiers who died on this insignificant length of sand and rocks.  The shouting and gunfire are now but echoes in our imagination.  "Lonely Beach (Normandy, 1944)" was commissioned by the United States Army Band, Washington, D.C.