Out of the Depths (Hailstork)

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Adolphus Hailstork

Adolphus Hailstork

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General Info

Year: 1974
Duration: c. 13:15
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Unknown
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Hailstork's program note for Out of the Depths explains that the piece traces a life cycle, from its spark of inception through a long ascent to a powerful climax and then a decline into peaceful resolution and silence. The actual sound of the music suggests (as does the title) something rather darker. The opening dwells on barely audible sounds, including slowly built-up clusters of sustained pitches and brief flashes of percussion. The piece gains momentum gradually in a series of slow rises and falls, culminating in music of considerable ferocity.

Compositionally, Out of the Depths is largely based on just two melodic ideas. The first, played by the piccolo at the beginning of the piece, consists of an ascending motif of three notes. This rising figure is reprised powerfully at the music's climax. The second idea appears about 3:20 into the piece, when low woodwinds introduce a longer, downward-contoured melody, repeated in the bass and then played by clarinets and saxophones. This melody reappears several times, often as the bass line within a progression of dark chords. The richly dissonant harmonies and the massive effects created by overlapping blocks of instruments create a sense of glacially slow but inexorable movement.

- Program Note by composer


  • CBDNA Belwin Mills Max Winkler Award, 1977, winner


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Boston (Mass.) Conservatory Wind Ensemble (Matthew Marsit, conductor) - 9 December 2022
  • Charles River Wind Ensemble (Newton Centre, Mass.) (Matthew Marsit, conductor) - 12 June 2022

Works for Winds by This Composer