Program Notes


The interplay of darkness and light is characterized by instrumental color and range, strengthened by contrast in dynamics.  The constant shifting high overtones portray shimmering lights of different shades.  The striking beginning chord defines the full spectrum of all instruments in extreme registers.  All the motion increases, the space is filled in, and segments of lines start to take shape.  Short moments explore different aspects of the center, until the energy reaches its fullness subsumes, surrounds the center of the crystal’s lattice and matrices. At times contours are blurred by gradations of shadows.  The voila line softens the boundary, gives a certain intimacy.  Lyrical lines finally build up a long-breathing texture, haunting and longing, with the obsessive, brightest high F articulated by the flute, oboe, and violin.

Composer Allen Sapp has written:

“Throughout the work the trombone takes a principal role in articulating the spine of the piece.  It comprehends in its line the urgencies and special linear outcry which is, in a way, the inner prisms of the crystal radiating through different facets.  Its rhythmically plastic construction is surrounded by a moving kaleidoscopic ambiance, of chattering violins or harp or percussion.  Cantabile for the most part, this trombone line curves in and out of the texture as a skeletal shape bending and rotating and twisting through the texture.”

“The work does not stop but goes on ringing through the silences at its close, closing the circular pattern which is the design; the silences as bell-ritual, an inner contemplation of the shifting shades, the spectral line-shifts which permeate the work.  As the music moves to this conclusion, it is as if there were dimmers from some celestial battery slowly diminishing in strength while the center-chord of the work lingers on and through till darkness shrouds the work in the shadows.”

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