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Hung Aloft the Night

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Anthony O'Toole

Anthony O'Toole

General Info

Year: 2018
Duration: 6:30
Difficulty: III/IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: FJH Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $75.00   |   Score Only (print) - $8.00


Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
Bb Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II-III
String Bass (optional)
Antiphonal Bells
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Antiphonal Bells
  • Bass Drum
  • Cymbals (suspended, crash)
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Hung Aloft the Night was commissioned by a consortium of several ensembles organized by Joshua Kearney. The piece's title and inspiration comes from the poem "Bright Star" by the English poet John Keats.

The poem expresses the longing for something unattainable and the longing for stability in a world in constant flux. The poet uses grandiose imagery of mountains, shores and skies, and sensual language to manifest this desire to the reader.

The piece uses a single theme (with smaller variants and fragments) to portray musically that which is steadfast amongst a world constantly changing. The melody - Idée fixe - is heard first with almost no accompaniment and evolves through several reharmonizations, key changes, and contrapuntal contextualization.

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art—
Not in long splendour hung aloft the night
And watching ,with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors—
No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever—or else swoon to death.

- John Keats

- Program Note by composer

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Cleveland (Ohio) Youth Wind Symphony Group II (Concert Winds) (Darren Allen, conductor) - 2 February 2020
  • University of North Georgia (Gainesville) Wind Ensemble (J. Ashley Jarrell, conductor) – 21 February 2019
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha BOCH Festival Honor Band (Joshua Kearney, conductor) - 27 January 2019
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha University Band (Joshua Kearney, conductor) – 28 September 2018 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works