MUSIC FROM

THE CASTLE OF HEAVEN

YEAR

2015

 

INSTRUMENTATION

Orchestra

3(3.picc)222/4331/timp+3/

hp/str

 

DURATION

15 minutes

 

FIRST PERFORMANCE

February 3, 2017

Minnesota Orchestra

Osmo Vänskä, conductor

Orchestra Hall

 

Minneapolis, MN, USA

 

PROGRAM NOTE

Inspired by the title of Sir Elliot Gardiner's book on Johann Sebastian Bach, Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven, MUSIC FROM THE CASTLE OF HEAVEN is inspired more by the poetic title than the music of Bach. Music emanating from heavenly and cloud-like structures is the premise for a piece that could express a journey into the heavens or paradise. Cast into an arch-like fantasy, three main musical ideas are at play: organ music, liturgical music, and the pitches B-A-C-H. Large chordal sonorities that dynamically ebb and flow open the work and become a recurring gesture meant to evoke the massive sound world of a cathedral organ and the amorphous ever-changing structure of clouds. A Gregorian-like chant melody, presented infragments, is gradually reveals itself from beginning until fully unveiled in the finale. The third musical idea is the name B-A-C-H (B-flat) from which pitch material for a secondary motive is derived. The BACH motive is consistently woven into work in different permutations as a loose connection with the original book title. While there is no concrete story or program at play, the music is meant to express a journey through the realm of clouds, angels and light. 

 

Perusal recording available by request.

 

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