Rhapsody for Orchestra

Composed:  2009 (revised 2014)
Commission:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra in honor of Elaine Lebenbom
Premiere:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin, conductor, January 9, 2009
Premiere of new first movement: Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, January 28, 2015
Duration:  16 minutes
Instrumentation:  3 (3rd dbl. picc), 2, EH, 3 (3rd dbl. bscl), 2, Cbsn; 432 BsTbn, 1; Timp. 3 Perc. Harp, Strings

PROGRAM NOTES

I.    Prologue (2014)
II.    Airs and Rhapsodies
III.   Dance

Rhapsody for Orchestra was commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in honor of Elaine Lebenbom.  In the style of a concerto for orchestra, it features principal players, sections, and the entire orchestra in a soloistic way.  I love the orchestra - its beauty, power and excitement.  It has an unparalleled ability to produce a vast array of sounds and beautiful melodies in many different colors.  My intention when writing this work was to let the orchestra shine, to show off a bit in different ways - with beautiful melodies, with bravura, with passion, with powerful sound and with electric rhythms.

This work is dedicated to composer Donald Erb who recently passed away.  I think composing his music helped him to come to grips with the experiences that occurred in his world.  By the same token, in my music I am trying to make sense of the complex world that I inhabit as a person living in the 21st century.

REVIEWS

"Rhapsody proved to be a compact, cleverly scored concerto for orchestra…latent with romanticism but rippled." - Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press