The writing of this orchestral work was inspired by two wonderful aspects of nature: the forests and the rivers. One has only to imaging walking through a lush forest or standing at the bank of a playful river to really understand the music presented in this composition. The composer’s experience of nature has been transformed into music which is shared with the listener.
Each movement begins with a melody presented by the clarinet and oboe, and musical material from this melody is then developed throughout the movement. The first movement depicts the forest and the music is always growing and developing. Sustained strings represent the overt stillness and seeming inactivity of the forest while the brass and woodwinds remind us of the constant changes taking place. Reminiscent of the growth cycle of the forest, the music becomes progressively thicker and more animated, building several times to a peak, only to return to the beginning of the cycle again.
With never-ending playfulness, the second movement depicts the frolicking river. Motivic fragments from the opening melody are tossed back and forth unpredictably from instrument to instrument, or group to group, until the entire orchestra joins in joyful dance. Paramount in this movement is the exploration of rhythm. In the construction of both melody and accompaniment, rhythmic alternations of two or three beat groupings provide the motivation for musical expression. The resultant effect is spontaneous rhythmic energy.
Instrumentation: 8/8/6/4/3 Strings, Double Woodwinds, 2 French Horns, 2 Trumpets, Timpani, Percussion
Duration: 12 minutes