Below is the program note and then below that a video with a virtual mock-up of the first movement (12 minutes) of what will be my four-movement (40 minute) Symphony No. 2: “Tales from the Realm of Faerie.” (A pdf file of the score is available upon request.)
This symphony’s subtitle, “Tales from the Realm of Faerie,” (“Faerie” being the archaic term for Fairyland) calls forth in my own imagination a kind of rich musical tapestry intertwining all the colors and scenes of many fairy-tale worlds I have entered and loved. Although there is a coherent classical form in the thematic and key structure of each movement, I conceived the orchestration more abstractly as a fantasia of fairy-tale impressions in sound, spinning out like golden threads from a magical, musical spinning wheel. I have no particular fairy story in mind but rather hope that childlike ears might simply lose themselves in this world, as a child hearing fairy tales being read aloud – in swashbuckling fanfares, love themes, pointillist fairy dust, the surprising appearance of an evil sorcerer, music for a grand ball at a castle, or anything else one might wish to imagine from one’s own storehouse of fairy-tale (or non-fairy-tale) dreams. More than specific images, though, I have tried to capture in music a certain spirit of unspoiled beauty, innocence, nobility, and heroic goodness that I associate with that literary genre, even within the seriousness of the traditional symphony genre. While it is fine if my music is pictorial and narrative enough to evoke “cinematic” comparisons, my true role models are those early 20th-century tonal symphonists of the concert hall like Sibelius and Vaughan-Williams, who were free from the demands of on-screen dialog and scene changes to tell their epic tales in music alone.
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