Subtitle: A Choral Symphony
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:
- Bass Drum
- Orchestra Chimes
- Snare Drum
- Suspended Cymbal
- Tenor Drum
Solo Soprano Voice*
Solo Baritone Voice*
- amplification required
None discovered thus far.
America’s great experiment in public education continues to face one trial after another, and its current crisis worries me greatly. As Mark Van Doren wisely sings to us: “Slowly, slowly wisdom gathers.” The operative word here is slowly. It takes time to build the collective history, truth, and consciousness of a great society. Our commitment to public education, to civic engagement, to shared responsibility and governance: these are some of our greatest values, and they are manifested most obviously in our music and musical gatherings. This choral symphony partakes of a history and complexity that would not have been possible without the remarkable contributions to knowledge and of truth that the University of Illinois and other great institutions of higher learning have championed. Just as in the sciences and the humanities, the greatest achievements in the arts depend upon a society that has invested in their discovery.
I am honored to write this work, a celebration of the values of a society where education is available to all who seek it. I have been enriched through my collaboration with Richard Powers, a prophetic and probing artist like no other. His vision and mind brought to my attention the essential words of Mark Van Doren, Rosalyn Yalow, and Fazlur Khan, all acclaimed for their far-reaching contributions to our world. I’m humbled to stand beside these remarkable individuals, and I have attempted to do their words justice and honor with my musical setting.
In this work, I have included an extended quotation from the fourth movement of Johannes Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, which begins, “Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen" (How lovely is thy dwelling place). Premiered 150 years ago, Brahms’s most stunning achievement is often called a “human” requiem because of the universal nature of its text. Brahms does not impose dogma or any specific religious affiliation on the words of his Requiem; instead, he invites all people into a community of reconciliation. In that sacred space, we all witness the suffering of loss, and we are all part of the gathering that leads to communal healing. For this reason, I have chosen Brahms as a spiritual counterpart for this commission.
I have also quoted the famous tune that ends Brahms’s First Symphony. While not completed and premiered until 1876, already in September of 1868 Brahms sent a letter to Clara Schumann with the famous tune from the fourth movement, saying how inspired he was to find the germinating seed that would populate his work. In this work, his tune is gloriously dressed, propelling us with Van Doren’s final exultant words into a ringing and optimistic C major.
Yes, music is a vast, complex, and precarious gathering, but it is the pinnacle and lifeblood of human experience. Its vitality is ours to nurture, and its future lies in the hands and minds of the students who grace our halls.
- Program Note by composer
- Audio: Dominick DiOrio discusses Gathering
- Audio: Reference recording. University of Illinois Wind Symphony (Stephen Peterson, conductor)
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Symphony (Stephen G. Peterson, conductor) – 12 April 2018
- University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Symphony (Stephen G. Peterson, conductor; Illinis Chamber Singers; Yvonne Gonzales Redman, soprano; Nathan Gunn, baritone) – 11 February 2018 *Premiere Performance*
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Dominick DiOrio, personal correspondence, February 2018
- Dominick DiOrio website Accessed 6 February 2018