Paul Dukas’ La Plainte, au loin, du faune…, his homage to one of the best known of Debussy’s works, the Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun. Reduced to a piano work, we have a work that brings forth the elegant lines and longing in Debussy’s signature work.
- In 1894, Claude Debussy (1862-1918) used Mallarmé’s poem as the inspiration for his symphonic poem and it is the opening line with the solo flute that has come to define not only this work but also Debussy’s musical Impressionism.
- In writing for violin, viola, and cello, it’s difficult to keep the voices connected due to the dissimilarities in the range and sound of the three instruments. In listening to Thieriot’s composition, you hear how he compensates for the different ranges by giving each instrument distinctive melodic lines.
- The titles alone speak to Griffes’ ability to create imaginary landscapes and these miniatures evoke a quiet lake at twilight, a fantasy valley, and the winds that bring dreams. His poetic ideas are perfectly evoked in this work. The work was arranged in 1915 for chamber ensemble and in 1919 for orchestra.
- In 1893, Nepomuceno created his Symphony in G minor, one of the earliest symphonies written in Brazil. The work shows Nepomuceno’s technical mastery of the compositional methods he learned all over Europe and, in particular, the influence of Brahms.
- The work, originally written for piano, shines in an orchestral arrangement. Slowly the city rises and comes to life – we can hear the daily sounds of bells ringing, priests chanting, the organ sounding, but it’s all in the distance. In the orchestral arrangement, we hear this as both lighter and more solemn, as the sounds carry us across the water.
- In the work, Rahbari is thinking back to his youth when as a child, he was fond of group morning prayers. The prayer would be read by one child and then repeated by the others. Through the work, Rahbari conveys the children’s feelings of being a bit naughty while at the same time keeping an eye on their teacher. It’s a solemn and evocative piece.
- In his 1985 work Remembering Gatsby, Harbison starts by placing us out on Gatsby’s dock, as he looks across the water to the green light on the end of the Buchanan dock. Next, the foxtrot starts, placing us in the middle of yet another wild party on Long Island. At the end come the sound of a telephone and a car horn – the two instruments of Gatsby’s ultimate fall.