The Henry Brant Collection, Volume 3

Innova 410




1 Wind, Water, Clouds and Fire (2004)                                                               35:09

Present Music, Kevin Stalheim, chief conductor


2 Litany of Tides (1983)                                                                                             26:45

San Jose Symphony

George Cleve and Henry Brant, conductors

Daniel Kobialka, solo violin


3 Trinity of Spheres (1978)                                                                                      11:28

Denver Symphony Orchestra

Bruce Hangen, Carl Topilow, and Henry Brant, conductors



1. Wind, Water, Clouds & Fire

Wind, Water, Clouds & Fire is Henry BrantÕs newest work, commissioned by Present Music for performance on November 19 and 21, 2004 at St. JohnÕs Cathedral in Milwaukee. It may be described as an extraplanetary, environmental oratorio. Following is a description of the vocal and instrumental forces involved:

3 womenÕs choruses, each with its own conductor, each singing music independent of the other choruses 1 childrenÕs chorus, with its own conductor, singing music independent of the other choruses. All the choruses are widely separated and sing text adapted from notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci.

To each womenÕs chorus is assigned the text of one of LeonardoÕs philosophic-scientific reflections, as follows: Chorus 1—Wind, Chorus 2—Water, Chorus 3—Clouds.

      The text of LeonardoÕs observations and analyses of the properties of Fire is given to the childrenÕs chorus (Chorus 4).

      WomenÕs choruses 1 and 2 are located, respectively, midway in the two side aisles, facing into the audience; the third womenÕs chorus sings from the gallery. The childrenÕs chorus is positioned in the apse.

A solo wind player is stationed with each choral group and takes the role of obbligato commentator: oboe and soprano saxophone, each with an aisle womenÕs chorus, flute with womenÕs chorus 3 in the gallery. And two unison clarinets will stand in the middle of the childrenÕs voices in the apse.

Situated downstairs behind the congregational area, is a unison group of violins led by its own conductor. Each choral conductor maintains accurate rhythmic co-ordination within his/her group, the violin conductor likewise, but the groups make no effort to Òstay together.Ó All entrances and exits are signaled to the group conductors by the principal conductor, Kevin Stalheim, from a platform in the apse. Placed around Kevin in the apse are two separated instrumental groups:

Two percussionists (playing chimes, glockenspiel, xylophone, cowbells, woodblocks, steel-drums)

                  Two keyboard players (pianos, harpsichord)—plus harp

The organ has a complex improvised part (played by the composer on the pipe organ in the gallery). The composer also improvised on a second xylophone in the gallery.

Six trumpets complete the instrumentation. Four of them are located in the four corners of the congregation area and play facing in toward the audience. A jazz trumpeter plays riffs and blues from the apse, and a piccolo trumpet intones obbligati in alternation with the childrenÕs chorusÕs Gregorian-like chanting.

Generally speaking, the action of Wind, Water, Clouds and Fire is concerned with a contemplation of the workings of the natural world, and of the extent to which the increasing complexity of human affairs may conflict with basic planetary processes. With the aim of suggesting distances far beyond the planet Earth, the entire musical texture of this work is expressed in pitches above middle C.


Eric Segnitz, violin

Pamela Simmons, violin

Marie Sander, flute

Linda Donahue, oboe

Les Thimmig, soprano saxophone

Don Sipe, piccolo trumpet

Mike Plog, jazz trumpet

Jim Haynor, trumpet

Aric Madayag, trumpet

Jim Brus, trumpet

Phillip Bush, piano

Martha Stiehl, harpsichord, piano

Alison Attar, harp

Terry Smirl, percussion

Carl Storniolo, percussion

Kevin Stalheim, conductor



Henry Brant, organ and xylophone

Kelly Petitjean, clarinet, Divine Savior Holy Angels High School

Emily Sholl, clarinet, Wauwatosa East High School

Dan Paprocki, clarinet

David Nagel, trumpet, UWM student of Kevin Hartman






Margery Deutsch, Music Director

Ashley Barret

Justin Chou

Julia Chou

Karen Landay

Benjamin Mather

Rachel Yang

Alyssa Yank



Emily Crocker, Founder and Artistic Director



Sharon A. Hansen, Director



Tina Glander, Conductor



Lisa Shimon, Director



Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Dr. Abraham B. and Irma F. Schwartz Fund

Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Pufum Fund No. 1

Multi-Arts Production Fund, a program of Creative Capital supported by the

Rockefeller Foundation.

Chorus I

When many ocean winds collide waves have no space to travel but crash and sometimes sink ships. 

Strongest winds then will win by being less tangled up with the other winds.

With winds of great force that one with greater spatial volume will exceed all the others in strength.

All winds that attack the earth come down from above making violent rebounding motions which incessantly are grazing the earth.

Wind is much more forceful high up.

Wind has much less power low down.

When the wind starts with fury it will only last a short time.

Wind which has a more furious origin will also have a shorter duration.

Wind itself is invisible.  Only various objects and substances carried by the wind are visible in the air.

Wind is very dense on mountain tops and in valleys when the mountains which enclose them are very high.

Wind Spaces. Wind Spaces. Wind Spaces. Wind Spaces.

When 2 clouds meet driven by the same wind the larger one covers the smaller taking over some of the windÕs power.

The 2 clouds then combine that way producing rain.

Leonardo da Vinci, Leonardo da Vinci, Vinci, Vinci, Vinci, Leonardo da Vinci.


Chorus II

Water moves in the same ways as wind.

Water wears away the tops of mountains.

Water drives the sea away from old shores and the sea has gone back to the sea many times.

Movement of water inside water that is much like movement of are inside air.

Water is sometimes acid, sometimes bitter. Water is sometimes thick, sometimes thin. Without stopping, water is always consuming and capturing whatever it touches.

Wet wind found in caverns that have both exit and entrance can produce water.

Water is what keeps this dry planet alive and without it nothing among us can survive.

Water Spaces. Water Spaces. Water Spaces. Water Spaces.

Water rages turbulently with furious violence at others it is clear, peaceful and playful.  Water helps keep this dry planet alive.

Leonardo da Vinci,  Leonardo da Vinci, Vinci, Vinci, Leonardo da Vinci.


Chorus III

Clouds often descend to earth and are instantly cut right off becoming invisible

when the air is still and a large group of clouds has risen to a high level and then these clouds are pressed close together.  They squeeze out so much air that you can see this compression transferred to other smaller clouds.

When 2 contrary winds force 2 clouds to collide both clouds merge and being unable to descend because of the wind moving under them they are forced to extend upwards.

To create a cloud a great quantity of air needs to rush together.  When a cloud is created it also generates wind and then it dissolves and changes into air increasing its size and shape.

Clouds are formed with different round shapes which are separated in different spaces.

Concentrations of humidity scattered throughout the air cause formations of clouds and changes both their actual size and their shape. 

Clouds spaces. Clouds Spaces. Clouds Spaces. Clouds Spaces.

The more furious the wind is when it starts the shorter will be its duration.  Wind is itself invisible. Only those things carried by the wind can be seen.

Leonardo da Vinci,  Leonardo da Vinci, Vinci, Vinci, Vinci, Leonardo da Vinci.


Chorus IV

Fire begins and ends in smoke.

No animal that breathes can live in a place where fire canÕt burn.

Medium wind makes a fire bigger. Too much wind puts it out.

Smoke in which fire begins is much hotter than smoke in which it ends.

If more and more wood is piled up, your fire will get bigger and bigger.

Young dry wood will make a much brighter blue smoke than old damp wood.

If you put your candle in a cold place the light will get dim.

Fire gets bigger and bigger if fuel keeps piling on.

Smoke is fast when it starts and slow as it rises because rising makes it colder and heavier.

Fire begins at the top of a round blue flame then stretches and becomes a heart pointing up to the sky.

Fire Spaces.  Fire Spaces.  Fire Spaces. Fire Spaces.

No animal can live where fire cannot burn.

Fire begins and ends in smoke.

Leonardo da Vinci,  Leonardo da Vinci, Vinci, Vinci, Leonardo da Vinci.  


2. Litany of Tides

Spatial Antiphonies for Solo Violin, Large Orchestra, Small Orchestra, and Four Sopranos

Daniel Kobialka, Solo Violin


Litany of Tides, completed in July 1983, was commissioned by the San Jose Symphony, written for violinist Daniel Kobialka (with whom I have collaborated on joint projects since 1958, and dedicated to the memory of my father, the violinist  Saul Brant (1882-1934).  The first performances were in San Jose, September 24 and 25, 1983.  Daniel Kobialka was the soloist; George Cleve conducted the Òstage orchestraÓ, comprising the entire string section, the horns and tubas, the double-reed instruments, and 2 pianos.  In the balcony I conducted 6 widely separated groups: 3 flutes, 3 clarinets, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 3 bell-percussionists, and a duo of harp and mandolin.  Under the balcony, behind the audience on one side, was the timpanist; on the other side was the bass-drum and gongs.  Forward of the stage, behind grilled openings in the walls 30 feet up from the floor, were situated 4 soprano singers, 2 on each side of the audience.  Each sang a different set of melodies, on texts describing tidal currents, wave formations, lunar attraction, tides in the atmosphere and within the earth, and flood tides.  Daniel Kobialka played from a corner of the balcony throughout most of the work, and from the stage during his final 3 episodes.  Musical materials assigned to the violin, to each orchestra, and to the singers have no relation to each other; the effect in the hall is that of 4 different compositions played at once; the listeners themselves being the connecting factors.

      Before I began to write Litany of Tides, I inquired about the other works to be programmed on the same concert.  When I learned that BachÕs Suite No.  3 was to precede me, and BeethovenÕs 5th Symphony to follow, I decided that this unique opportunity to form part of such a triptych should somehow be incorporated in my new piece.  Accordingly, the opening phrases of the Beethoven symphony are superimposed over several of my passages towards the end.  In thinking further about BachÕs trumpets and violins, it occurred to me that this mixture has an exact modern counterpart in the Mexican mariachi band, where a few violins, sometimes only one, have to contend in unison with a loud trumpet.  And so Litany of Tides begins with the Gavotte from BachÕs Suite No. 3, played by the trumpets in the balcony, somewhat in the manner of a Mexican march.                                                                  —H.B.

Text (sung simultaneously by four rhythmically-independent sopranos)


Soprano 1 – Tides are caused by the attraction of the sun and moon acting unequally on the waters in different parts of the earth.

Soprano 2 – Tidal friction is slowly pushing the moon farther away from the earth.

Soprano 3 – In the open ocean the tidal currents are rotary.

Soprano 4 – Tides wait for no one.


Sop.1 – There are two high tides on the earth, the direct tide on the side facing the moon and the indirect side on the opposite side.

Sop. 2 – Tides are the alternate rise and fall of sea level in large bodies of water.

Sop. 3 – If the moon attracted evÕry point within the earth with equal force there would be no tides.

Sop. 4 – We can think of the tide as the longest possible ocean wave, one which stretches all the way around the earth.


Sop. 1 – When tides flow into an estuary, the water level rises faster than it falls and the flood tide flows faster than it ebbs.

Sop. 2 – Flood tide is the flux or rising of the water; ebb-tide is its reflux.

Sop. 3 – Tides are produced by differences in lunar force at various points on the earthÕs surface.

Sop. 4 – As the tides change, currents must flow to redistribute the oceanÕs water.


Sop. 1 – When tidal currents flow into the mouth of the river they must speed up.

Sop. 2 – Tidal range is the diffÕrence in sea level between high and low tides.

Sop. 3 – Tides are raised in the earthÕs solid crust and atmosphere as well as in the ocean.

Sop. 4 – Tides are made by the changes in the shape of celestial bodies that arise from the dislocating stresses created by their mutual attraction.


            World-renowned violinist Daniel Kobialka embraces both the classic and the avant-garde in his search to create sounds that enliven and heal.  Kobialka was the founding concertmaster and soloist at the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, where he played alongside John Adams. Other important relationships that influenced KobialkaÕs musical talents include such legendary musicians and composers as Lou Harrison, Harry Partch, Vivian Fine and Henry Brant.

            Kobialka pioneered the development of the Zeta Polyphonic violin, a MIDI synthony instrument that can be played—and heard—in a very large space.  He has commissioned over 30 works from such composers as Pulitzer Prize winners Charles Wuorinen, William Bolcom, and Wayne Peterson.

            KobialkaÕs music is the core of a series of studies linking sound with CAM — complimentary and alternative medicine for health and healing. At the center of KobialkaÕs focus is the rejuvenative power of music.

            Kobialka has been Principal 2nd Violinist with the San Francisco Symphony for over two decades, occupying the Dinner and Swig Families Chair. In addition to his many performances worldwide, he is the founding concertmaster and annual soloist with San FranciscoÕs annual Midsummer Mozart Festival Orchestra under George Cleve, with whom he has recorded MozartÕs Violin Concerto No 1. Michael Tilsen Thomas states, ÒDaniel Kobialka brings to life music of the past, present and future, and communicates true joy.Ó

            ÒA sensitive and intelligent performer with a natural gift for his instrument.Ó — Aaron Copland

            ÒKobialka is a musician of unusual strength and devotion.Ó — Leonard Bernstein



3. Trinity of Spheres

3 Orchestral Groups, 3 Conductors

Denver Symphony Orchestra

Conductors: Bruce Hangen, Associate Conductor (large orchestral group); Carl Topilow, Assistant Conductor (high-pitched instrumental group); and Henry Brant, Guest Conductor (low brass, bassoons and percussion).

Premiere performance, March 8, 1979, Boettcher Hall, Denver, Colorado


      Trinity of Spheres requires three widely separated orchestras, each with its own conductor. The largest group is on stage and includes the string orchestra, two harps and piano, and percussion. Two smaller groups both consist of winds and percussion only, one limited to high-pitched instruments and the other including only those of low or medium pitch. The musical material for each of the three orchestras is independent of what the other two play, throughout. The work is in one movement, comprising 15 contrasted events, each one signaled by percussion announcements.



      Henry Brant is AmericaÕs foremost composer of acoustic spatial music. The planned positioning of performers throughout the hall, as well as on stage, is an essential factor in his composing scheme and a point of departure for a radically expanded range and intensity of musical expression. BrantÕs mastery of spatial composing technique enables him to write textures of unprecedented polyphonic and/or polystylistic complexity while providing maximum resonance in the hall and increased clarity of musical detail for the listener. His catalogue now comprises over 100 spatial works.

      Recent premieres include Tremors, for 4 singers and 16 instrumentalists, commissioned by the Getty Research Institute, premiered on June 4, 2004, at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. Tremors was repeated in a Green Umbrella concert at LAÕs new Disney Hall on November 1, 2004. Ghosts & Gargoyles, a concerto for flute solo with flute orchestra, for New Music Concerts, Toronto had its premiere on May 26, 2002. Ice Field, for large orchestral groups and organ, was commissioned by Other Minds for a December 2001 premiere by the San Francisco Symphony.

      In the mid 1950Õs Brant felt that Òsingle-style musicÉcould no longer evoke the new stresses, layered insanities, and multi-directional assaults of contemporary life on the spirit.Ó In keeping with BrantÕs belief that music can be as complex and contradictory as everyday life, his larger works often employ multiple, contrasting performing forces, as in Meteor Farm (1982) for symphony orchestra, large jazz band, two choruses, West African drum ensemble and chorus, South Indian soloists, large Gamelan ensemble, percussion orchestra and two Western solo sopranos. BrantÕs spatial experiments have convinced him that space exerts specific influences on harmony, polyphony, texture and timbre. He regards space as musicÕs Òfourth dimension,Ó (after pitch, time and timbre). Brant continues to experiment with new combinations of acoustic timbres, even creating entire works for instrumental family groups of a single timbre: Orbits for 80 trombones, Ghosts & Gargoyles for 9 flutes, and others for multiple trumpets and guitars. This predilection for ensembles of a single tone quality dates from Angels and Devils (1932). Brant does not use electronic materials or permit amplification in his music.

      A member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters, Brant was awarded the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Ice Field (2001). He has received two Guggenheim Fellowships and was the first America composer to win the Prix Italia. Among other honors are Ford Foundation, Fromm Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and Koussevitzky awards and the American Music CenterÕs Letter of Distinction. The Paul Sacher Foundation in Basel has acquired BrantÕs complete archive of original manuscripts including over 300 works (1998). In conjunction with BrantÕs 85th birthday concert, Wesleyan University conferred upon him the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts (1998).

      Born in Montreal of American parents in 1913, Henry Brant began composing at the age of eight. After moving to New York in 1929, he composed and conducted for radio, film, ballet, and jazz groups. Starting in the late 40s, he taught at Columbia University, Juilliard, and, for 24 years, Bennington College. Since 1981, he has made his home in Santa Barbara, California.



¥ Wind, Water, Clouds & Fire was recorded November 20, 2004 at St.JohnÕs Cathedral, Milwaukee, WI

Recording engineers:  Ric Probst and Steve Kutgen of Remote Planet, Milwaukee, WI

Producers: Henry Brant, Kevin Stalheim

¥ Litany of Tides was originally released on LP by the Sonic Arts Corporation. 

Producer and Recording Engineer: Leo de Gar Kulka

Technical Director: Kenneth K. Lee, Jr.

Recording crew: Students from the College for Recording Arts; Dave Lumaye, James Howard, Thomas Grider, Mike Corbit, Mike Conishi, Duncan Edwards

Production Coordinator: Jamie Marantz

Disc mastering: Leo Kulka at Sonic Arts — The Mastering Room

Recorded at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts

Thanks to the composer and soloist for permission to release this recording.

¥ Trinity of Spheres transferred from reel by Barbara Hirsch, Opus 1, Santa Barbara, CA

¥ This recording was funded in part by a grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music Recording Program administered by the American Music Center.

¥ Henry BrantÕs music is published by Carl Fischer, NYC.

¥ Innova is supported by an endowment from the McKnight Foundation and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

¥ Innova Director, series producer, design: Philip Blackburn



VOLUME 1 (innova 408)

Northern Lights Over the Twin Cities, A Plan of the Air

VOLUME 2 (innova 409)

Nomads, Solar Moth, Ghost Nets