Denny Shneidemesser Crayon Dragon Analysis

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Denny Schneidemesser – Crayon Dragon
Easily my favorite composition of all time, Denny Schneidemesser’s Crayon Dragon is an impressive work of adventure. Not ironically, the title is as playful as the actual piece. But that is not to say that it is not well thought out. Schneidemesser is a modern composer who focus on writing film score pieces. He likes to play around with ideas and create dramatic, adventure filled pieces on the side, and I appreciate the small details he frequently uses. One of my favorite things about Schneidemesser is his resourcefulness as an artist. Most pieces he composes he composes for other artists’ animations. Crayon Dragon was written for a visual artist Toniko Pantoja’s short film by the same name. The piece tells
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The first movement is a trumpet solo with band accompaniment, very melancholic and reflective. The second movement begins by setting up the intricate motif from the woodwinds. As more sections slowly build upon each other, the conflicting metric lines form something that can only be described as majestic. Mackey’s skillful manipulation of time signatures eventually leads into a large 5/4 section that features the low brass. This is a transitory section that leads to a much more flourishing 4/4 – 5/4 section in half time. In all my years of appreciating music, this section has impressed me the most in any piece. As Mackey’s work begins to fall into the conclusion of the piece more and more sections intensify, and then the shift to the ending results in a very grandiose return to a modified half time section. The band begins an internal call and response from brass and woodwinds and there are background trumpets calling back and forth to each other. As the tribute to Stravinsky’s “Firebird” (according to Mackey, that is what this piece is) closes, what more could be appropriate for the piece than a brilliant horn rip to signify regality and also finality? Truly, Mackey’s most impressive work in my

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