Muse of Fire (2018)
Instrumentation: Flute doubling piccolo, oboe doubling English horn, clarinet, bassoon, alto saxophone, horn, trumpet, triangle, bass drum, suspended cymbal, tambourine, snare drum, wood block, piano, string quintet.
Description: This is my big chamber work for my senior recital. I began sketching the main motifs heard throughout the piece in December 2017 at the beginning of the month, and I fondly composed some of the music on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve at the piano Orchestration was finished in March or April of 2018, and then engraving and parts were finished in May. The work features three main motifs for Henry V, England as a country, and France. Through its five sections, it generally tells the story of Shakespeare’s 1599 play. The two battle sections were written out via chords first, and then those chords were realized into music. The trumpets are used to mimic Shakespeare’s stage directions. The alto saxophone fits into the category of all three other sections well, so it blends well throughout the work. There are a lot of unique moments, like how the Henry V motif is used in many different settings for a lyrical piano solo and an epic horn moment like in Daphnis et Chloe, or the very end of the piece, in which the Scottish bagpipe music combines with the English celebration music, a la Holst or Ravel.
I would like to thank all my talented colleagues at Augustana college who recorded this piece for me on 14 October 2018 at my senior recital. I am also thankful of the opportunity to conduct one of my own works.