A lyric and rhapsodic tone-poem for large orchestra.

Duration: 9’ 

Year of completion: 2003

Orchestra: picc22Eh2Bcl2Cbn 4331 hrp pno/cl 3perc timp strings

Commissioned by the California Symphony and premiered in May of 2003. 

Audio Excerpt:

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Composer's Note:

Many previous and subsequent works I have written have programatic impulses and extramusical allusions. Often, my compositions involve a narrative or reference to story or poem, or house an association to vernacular genres. My Essay follows a more abstract approach. But I don’t believe that there really ever is such a thing as ‘pure’ or ‘abstract’ music. Certainly all music lives in a world of undeniable references and associations. In this sense, my Essay has a clear affinity to several beloved French composers like Debussy, Ravel, and Dutilleux. In many ways, I have sought to write a work of orchestral subtlety and nuance that tips my hat to those composers of the past.

The work has many long arching melodic lines that remain mostly intact in their repetitions. I consciously resisted the temptation to detour into fragmentation and development choosing to let the melodic lines simply work for themselves. Around those long sensual lines, a kaleidoscope or orchestral color is spun.





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