Lines from Samson

Lines from Samson

Lines from Samson

for brass quintet

Program Notes

This piece was indirectly inspired by a performance of Handel’s oratorio, Samson, which my wife and I heard at the Proms concerts in London in the summer of 2009. As I was reading through the text, adapted from Milton’s Samson Agonistes, it occurred to me that some of the lines would make good titles. A little later that year, as I was casting around for ideas for a brass quintet, I returned to the text and chose five lines to use as movement titles. They represent very different scenes and emotional states from different stages of the drama. The fairly short movements simply attempt to convey musically what the titles suggested to me. The music is entirely my own, and makes no references to Handel’s great score.

Lines from Samson was written for my friends and colleagues in the Louisville Brass and the Sonus Brass Quintet.

  1. Awake the Trumpet’s Lofty Sound
  2. Sun and Moon Are Dark to Me
  3. To Song and Dance We Give the Day
  4. Rest Eternal, Sweet Repose
  5. Then Round About the Starry Throne

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