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Anthology of Joy, An

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Lembit Beecher

Lembit Beecher

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General Info

Year: 2016
Duration: c. 25:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Lembit Beecher
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


Full Score
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
String Bass
Solo Viola


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

In the year before writing An Anthology of Joy, I composed a number of serious and weighty pieces. Working on these pieces felt rewarding and meaningful, but I sometimes wondered, as a relatively happy person, why there wasn’t more levity in my music. I had been listening to a lot of Bach cantatas at the time, and there is a buoyant, overwhelming sense of joy in some of the cantata choruses that I found so inspiring. I wondered if I would be able to capture something similar in my instrumental music.

But as I began to write, I thought about how rare of a feeling pure joy was. Much more often, it seemed, joy came packaged with a complicated mix of emotions: for example, the wild excitement of childhood, a rushing sense of relief, a bittersweet pleasure, or a tender sense of caring. And my music seemed to resist the feeling of rapturous sunshine I had first set out to capture. Perhaps in a few moments here and there, I have managed to express a pure sense of joy, but the five movements of the piece ended up comprising a tour through a series of tangentially related emotions and memories: joy seen through different filters of worldly experience. And in the end, I think the piece embodies a search or struggle that seems much more human than simple happiness itself.

An Anthology of Joy was commissioned by Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings, University of Michigan and Oberlin Conservatory. It was premiered by the University of Michigan Symphony Band on April 8, 2016, and by Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings on April 17, 2016, both concerts featuring James Van Valkenburg, viola, and Michael Haithcock, conductor.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) Symphony Band (Michael Haithcock, conductor; Jim VanValkenburg) – 8 April 2016 – *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer