Brazen Overture

Score title

Brazen Overture


Libby Larsen

More about the composer



Program note

bra-zen adj. 1. made of brass. 2. sounding harsh and loud, like resounding brass. 3. impudent; immodest; shameless; having a front like brass; as, a brazen countenance. 4. to carry through impudently or shamelessly; as, to brazen the matter through.

The Monarch Brass asked me to compose a fanfare for them for their concert at the National Women’s Museum – which I did with pleasure. I’d worked with them before, composing “Brass Flight” for the full ensemble to take with them on one of their summer tours. In the “Brazen Overture,” I wanted to feature tuba player Velvet Brown, who is an extraordinary performer. So, I created the rather long tuba solo for the opening of the fanfare. The idea was that Velvet would come onstage alone and play the opening and the other member of the quintet would join her. This we could accomplish because the hall at the museum is quite small. I imagined all future performances to happen in quintet formation. Also, I wanted to compose a rather jazzy statement, brash and brazen, to create a first impression for the quintet as well rounded, fearless performers who love what they do and aren’t afraid to show it!

— Libby Larsen, October 14, 2002