Majestic River for orchestra
Majestic River was commissioned by the Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association for the 60th Anniversary of the Quincy Symphony Orchestra (Illinois). This composition is subtitled “a symphonic poem,” and its title refers to the Mississippi River, which flows past the city of Quincy, Illinois, where I grew up from the age of eight.
The composition unfolds in one movement in three parts, A-B-A’. The first A section has the tempo marking Allegro con spirito. The middle B section is more quietly entitled Adagio pensiero. The third section then abruptly returns to the A material. The principal thematic idea is introduced immediately at the opening of the composition. It may be characterized as noble and majestic, reflecting the title and dominating the first A section. The opening of the slower B section presents a tender theme in the strings, answered by the horns. But this section belongs especially to the strings as they mount higher and higher, reaching a notable climax. The woodwinds also have their say as this section is about to lead to a return of the opening musical material. The returning A section is punctuated with accented chords, and as the close of the composition approaches there are brilliant falling scale passages especially in the strings, leading to a thunderous close.
Majestic River may be purchased below or is available on a rental basis from:
The Edwin A. Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music
The Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1116
tel (215) 686-5313
- Date completed:
- ca. 8:00
- Audio excerpt:
- Fleisher Collection (rental agent) [search catalog for "Jeremy Beck"]
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