Thomas C. Duffy, Music Director. Featuring “Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber” (Paul Hindemith/arr. Keith Wilson); “Profanation, Symphony No. 2” (Leonard Bernstein); “High Water Rising” (Sally Lamb McCune); “5523 Luminet 1991 PH8” (Therese Brenet); “I Sit Alone in Martin’s Church” (Thomas C. Duffy)
● In his “Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber,” Paul Hindemith pays homage to the important German early Romantic composer by adapting some of his music as an orchestral suite. Hindemith adapts each of the extracts from Weber to serve as the theme for one of the movements, beginning the process of transformation that continues throughout each. The band arrangement comes from Keith L. Wilson, director of the Yale Bands from 1946 – 1972 and colleague of Hindemith, who taught at Yale from 1940 – 1953.
● Excerpted from a symphony in three movements, “Profanation” is a deeply expressive piece that offers a powerful testament of Leonard Bernstein’s Hebraic faith. As for the programmatic meaning, the intention is not one of literalness but of emotional quality. Thus, Profanation gives the general sense of the destruction and chaos brought on by the pagan corruption within the priesthood and the people. It is a quick movement full of disturbing metrical dislocations.
● “High Water Rising” (Sally Lamb McCune) was originally inspired by David Shumate’s poem ‘High Water Mark’ (2004), the depiction of a great flood, the water rising to record heights, all manner of things being carried away with the current, and the indelible impression such an event leaves on those who live through it. Though she had been thinking about the piece for some time, McCune began it in 2017, shortly after the U.S. withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement.
● Jean-Pierre Luminet works as one of the most famous astrophysicists in the world, most well-known for his role in creating the first photo of a black hole as well as his success as a visual artist and musician. The asteroid 5523 Luminet, discovered in 1991, was named after him. Composer Thérèse Brenet wrote “(5523) Luminet 1991 PH8” in his honor, developing the beauty of the Cosmos through music.
● “I Sit Alone in Martin’s Church” seeks to synthesize the revolutionary spirit of two of the most well-known reformers in world history: Martin Luther and Martin Luther King, Jr. Thomas C. Duffy does this by juxtaposing a hymn in the accessible vernacular languages that Luther popularized against grunts and blues harmonies inspired from African-American music of the 19th and 20th centuries born of the anti-Blackness that MLK is so well known for fighting.