ASTRAL BLUE for orchestra (2006) - 11 min.
Commissioned by the Leipzig Academic Orchestra
Astral Blue (2006) is an orchestral composition that reflects the beauty of our natural world, especially the stars.
As an acknowledgement to the Leipzig Academic Orchestra who commissioned the work, the B-A-C-H motive appears in the low strings early in the composition and becomes the indirect source of much of the following harmonic and melodic activity.
The central melodic gesture is presented by the violins and leads to an ebullient orchestral tutti. Following a slow, ethereal passage employing string glissandi, bowed vibraphone, and a five-note cantus firmus, the music becomes very energetic before subsiding again. An ascending melody in the violas ushers in the closing bars that contain fragments and variations of gestures presented earlier throughout the orchestra.
The modal and pandiatonic writing in this piece is intended to evoke spiritually-uplifting pastoral settings of atmospheric phenomena such as the soft glow of a clear morning sky or the gradual emergence of stars at twilight.
Astral Blue was premiered by the Leipzig Academic Orchestra (Horst Forester conductor) in the Leipizg Gewandhaus on
May 21, 2007.
Recorded on Divine Art Records msv 28554
Publisher: Keiser Southern Music
(Select MEDIA to hear sound clip)