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I wake in the dark and remember

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Joel Puckett

Joel Puckett


Subtitle: Viola Concertino

The title of this work is intentionally written in lower case: I wake in the dark and remember.


General Info

Year: 2022
Duration: c. 14:10
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Joel Puckett
Cost: Score and Parts – Available December 1, 2023


Movements (played without pause)

1. Rain Journey
2. I lie listening to the black hour


Instrumentation

Full Score
Solo Viola
Flute I-II-III
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Contra-Bassoon
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Euphonium
Tuba
String Bass
Piano
Harp
Timpani
Percussion (4 players), including:

  • Marimba
  • Suspended Cymbal (large)
  • Tam-tam
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone I-II

Players creating rain effects with hands and feet


Errata

None discovered thus far.


Program Notes

W. S. Merwin's (1927-2019) poetry has been a constant in my adult life. His words bring me comfort in times of anxiety, smiles in times of happiness, and comfort in times of grief. 2020-2021 brought difficult times for all of us, and I once again found myself turning to Merwin's words.

I rarely know exactly what his poetry means, but I love how they make me feel. This was no different for the poem that inspired my viola concerto, I wake in the dark and remember. As I was writing, I rolled over the imagery in my mind: "wake in the dark and remember," "listening to the black hour," "you are asleep beside me while around us the trees full of night lean," etc., etc. These images are so vivid and clear, yet they lack any strict narrative, so my imagination became free to run wild and see the sounds the words inspire.

The concerto is in two movements but played without a break.

I wake in the dark and remember was commissioned by an international consortium of universities led by Damon Talley and Louisiana State University. It is dedicated with great admiration and gratitude to the extraordinary violist Kimberly Sparr, who gives the premiere tonight.

Below is the W. S. Merwin poem that inspired this concerto. Please take a moment to read these words and listen to the sounds they provoke in your own imagination.

Rain Travel

I wake in the dark and remember
it is the morning when I must start
by myself on the journey
I lie listening to the black hour
before dawn and you are
still asleep beside me while
around us the trees full of night lean
hushed in their dream that bears
us up asleep and awake then I hear
drops falling one by one into
the sightless leaves and I
do not know when they began but
all at once there is no sound but rain
and the stream below us roaring
away into the rushing darkness

- Program Note by composer


Media

None discovered thus far.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


Performances

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Works for Winds by This Composer


Resources