for orchestra or symphonic band (1999)

  • Premiere (Orchestral Version): 30 June 1999  / Capitol Statehouse Lawn, Madison, Wisconsin  / The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra / Harvey Felder
  • Premiere (Symphonic Band Version): 12 February 2000  / In studio, Washington, D.C.  / The Washington Winds / Edward Peterson
  • Instrumentation (Orchestral Version): 2(I,II=picc).2(II=corA).2(I=Ebcl,II=bcl).2- 
  • Instrumentation (Symphonic Band Version): Piccolo, Trumpet I, Tenor II, Tenor I, Horn IV, Clarinet I, Timpani, Horn II, Baritone (Bass Clef), Horn I, Trumpet II, Horn III, Bassoon, Trumpet III, Clarinet III, ContraBass, Alto Saxophone II, Tenor Saxophone, Oboe, Clarinet II, Flute, Bass Clarinet
  • Duration: 5'30"

Program note

Suddenly is about the flash of pleasure one receives at the moment one turns around and suddenly sees something or someone pleasant. A work celebrating the joyous spirit and lifestyle of Madison, Wisconsin, where for several years I lived while attending university, it unfolds from three simple motivic cells, all heard during the first few measures of the piece.

The first is a group of three repeated notes in the trumpets which I associate with the natural english-language speech rhythm of the word "suddenly." The second is a two-beat flourish in the horns that arrays a seventh chord. The third is a three-note gesture in the trombones comprised of the intervals of a rising fourth and a falling minor second. I have also made a version of this work for band.

Commissioned by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra in memory of Music Director David Lewis Crosby, Suddenly was first performed 30 June 1999 at the Capitol Statehouse in Madison, Wisconsin, by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Harvey Felder.