September, a Tone Poem, February 7, 2022

Here is a general outline of the work as I envisioned it. I have two very brief snippets of thematic material (less than a minute each) which provide the basis for most of the resulting work. Some of the details of these snippets do not match the final work exactly, since they were extracted as I worked.

Opening Theme. This opens the entire work, with the first melodic fragment carried by viola, and repeated by other voices towards a development which will focus on layered harmonics. The rapid key center changes reflect a descent by major 3rds from the original key, E♭ major. Its melodic fragments are modified and reused throughout the composition, especially in the first section of the “poem.”.
Second Theme. The original tempo (7/4) is exactly divided in half (to 7/8), which serves to double the speed of execution of this theme. The oboe provides the melodic statement, a slight modification of the original above, though the direction of variation is quite different.

In general, reflecting the programmatic theme, the piece moves from austere to active, more in keeping with the human implications of the time of year.

Go to Chapter 2: First Development +

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