Solar Visions (2004) for woodwind quintet was commissioned by and is dedicated to theArcadian Winds of Boston, Massachusetts, at the specific request of John Paul Aubrey,hornist. Hearing the Arcadian Winds perform contemporary music on numerous occasionswas an inspiration to the writing of this piece.The work is in three movements, each sharing the same basic musical material. The startingpoint for the work's conception is a dissonant cadential figuration from early American music,centered on Ab. Spinning out from this idea, the material extends to incorporate patterns ofperfect 5ths one semitone apart. This sense of "cadence" is extended in the work to makelarger-scale structures.The first movement, Recitatives and Chorales, consists of free, recitative-like material for theinstruments in solos. These recitatives often erupt into fast spirals. This texture is interruptedperiodically by chorale-like ideas presented by the full quintet.The second movement, Serenata, is a song-like with each instrument taking the melody inturn. Some of the recitative-ideas of the first movement re-emerge, as well as a rearticulationof the cadential figuration.The third movement, Dance, is energetic and driving. The dance is interrupted by arecollection of the first movement's material. The final resolution of the extended cadentialfigurations occurs at the end, and the work ends exuberantly with a flourish in Ab major.
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