A dramatic work comprised of three contrasting movements.

I. Overture, II. Winter Moon, III. Chatterbox


Year of completion: 1997

Orchestra: picc22Ehpicc2Bcl2Cbn 4331 hrp pno/clst 3perc timp strings

Commissioned by the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra; Stefan Asbury, conductor

Winner of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Centennial Composition Competition.

Performed in Carnegie Hall by the Philadelphia Orchestra

Excerpt from Overture:

Excerpt from Winter Moon:

Excerpt from Chatterbox:


Composer's Note:

My Sinfonia was commissioned and premiered by the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra in 1997 and is comprised of three contrasting movements, ‘Overture,’ ‘Winter Moon,’ and ‘Chatterbox.’

The ‘Overture’ is a work that expresses surprise and shock at the twists of fate that interrupt what would be otherwise orderly, meaningful directions. It is a fantasy around themes of contradictory elements and loose ends. It’s writing coincided with the discovery that my father was terminally ill with cancer — a shock that made an impression on me about the fragile nature of our goals and directions in life.  

‘Winter Moon’ was inspired and written in response to a poem of Langston Hughes of the same title:

Winter Moon

How thin and sharp is the moon tonight!
How thin and sharp and ghostly white
Is the slim curved crook of the moon tonight!

The setting is icy–cold, lonely, bleak, and emotionally desolate, yet poignant beauty emerges from the cold psychological state. Throughout the movement, time stops, motion ends, and little happens.  

“Chatterbox” was inspired by an acquaintance who, once started, could keep talking quickly and endlessly often exhausting his welcome.  I found that I was able to best depict this character with a quasi–rap initially presented by the winds —a musical lick that becomes ever–present and obnoxiously resilient.  


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