Times Trans-shifting

for orchestra


Duration: 7'

Orchestra: 2222; 4220; timp, 1 perc; strings

“moving...long-haunting”—Paul Sweitzer, Flagstaff Sun, February 21, 1985 (written of Cortège, the first version of this work)

Full study score available for purchase at Subito Music Distribution. Performance materials available for rental only through Subito Music Rental Library.

View sample pages of the score.

(The following audio demo is a digital realization using instruments from the Vienna Symphonic Library.)

Composer Notes:

I sing of Times trans-shifting; and I write
How Roses first came Red, and Lillies White.
—Robert Herrick

My father passed away in 2007, and in the following weeks I thought about an orchestral work I had composed for the Flagstaff Symphony in 1984 titled Cortège. The program notes for that work suggested the imagery of a funeral cortège, and the premiere was dedicated to two recently deceased patrons of the symphony.

When I opened that score again, I was surprised to find myself reimagining it. As I looked through the pages of music, I was spontaneously imagining music that was even more intense than what was written in the score.

I should not have been surprised. Since composing Cortège I had composed four operas, and my aesthetic viewpoint had grown more rhetorical—more oriented toward outward expression. A review of the premiere of Cortège described it as “moving” and “long-haunting,” but now I was imagining a work that exteriorized passion more fiercely. Trusting my gut, I treated the earlier score as a sketch and reworked it from beginning to end.1 Besides hundreds of changes of detail, I cut a middle section and extended the ending.

As I worked I kept recalling Robert Herrick’s wonderful phrase “Times trans-shifting,” and I retitled the work accordingly.