Instrumentation: Piccolo, 2 flutes, Eb clarinet, Bb clarinet, bass clarinet, 3 bassoons, alto sax, 4 horns, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, euphonium, tuba, 4 percussion, piano; electric bass, amplified double bass
Peermusic Classical, BMI (Americas and Asia)
Faber Music (Europe, Australia and New Zealand
Duration: 9:30 minutes
World Premiere: February 1993 / Austin, TX / University of Texas Wind Ensemble, Jerry Junkin
During the compostion of the Metropolis Symphony, I created a work inspired by another foe of Superman: Bizarro (created by Lex Luthor’s duplicating ray) is an imperfect copy of Superman, with spiky black hair and Frankenstein-like features. My nine-minute composition Bizarro is scored for woodwinds, large brass section, piano, electric bass, and a sizable percussion battery that includes three rock and roll drummers. Bizarro inhabits a musical world without strings, and revels in the brash energies of rock and big band jazz, propelled on his course by a fast tempo and rhythmic excitement. Melodic fragments coalesce, contrapuntally, into a swinging yet menacing little theme that is previewed by the flutes and piccolo, taken up by a solo trumpet, and finally peformed in a virtuoso canon for three trombones and four trumpets. Volume and intensity keep building as the monstrous Bizarro careens out of control.