Mount Diablo: A Symphonic Portrait

From Wind Repertory Project
Steven Reineke

Steven Reineke

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General Info

Year: 2002
Duration: c. 18:45
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Unknown


1. Ascension and Eagle Flight - 4:44
2. Spirit of the Ancients - 4:14
3. Arachnia - 3:09
4. Creation of the Sun - 6:39


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This work was commissioned in celebration of CCWS's [Contra Costa Wind Symphony] 20th anniversary [2002]. It depicts millions of years of Mount Diablo's history, the wonderful folklore of its inhabitants, and the varied splendor of our mountain. [Mt. Diablo is located 30 miles east of San Francisco, overshadowing Walnut Creek, the CCWE's home.] Composer Steven Reineke visited the area, hiked the mountain and gained valuable insights from photographer Stephen Joseph and members of the Mount Diablo Interpretive Association and the Save Mount Diablo organization. Mr. Reineke conducted the premiere of his piece.

-Program Note from Contra Costa Wind Symphony concert program, 9 March 2014

I. Ascension and Eagle Flight. The work opens with a single alto flute intoning a Native American chant-like call. This call conjures the birth and ascension of the mountain, rising steadily to its grand summit. As we reach the summit, the great eagle takes flight, giving us a bird’s-eye view of the glorious vistas of this great landscape. This movement progresses, without pause, directly into the second movement. You can recognize this by a sudden halt of a fast tempo, a sustained note from the French horn, and three slow descending notes in the clarinets, which announce the second movement.

IL Spirit of the Ancients. The second movement portrays the spirituality the mountain represents for its native people, the Bay Miwok Native Americans, who have lived within sight of the mountain for at least 5,000 years. The high slopes of the mountain were once used by these natives to pray and perform rituals.

III. Arachnia. The third section of the work is a fanciful depiction of the tarantula mating ritual. Every autumn, the male tarantula leaves his burrow in search of a female to mate with. Once a female is located, the male creates a tapping sound to entice her out of her den. At this point, he must convince her that he is a suitor and not lunch. To be successful in his mission, the male tarantula must use the small spurs on his front legs to hold the female’s savage jaws at bay while they mate. The hairy little hero of our tale is not so fortunate in his conquest.

IV. Creation of the Sun. The finale of the piece tells the ancient myth of Too-Le-Loo, the white-footed mouse, and how he stole fire from his neighboring tribe. One night he crept to their village and lulled them to sleep by playing his flute. When all of the villagers were asleep, he stole their precious fire and stored it in his flute. As Too-Le-Loo got home, he placed the fire on the ground and covered it with leaves and pine needles. O-La-Choo, the coyote, smelled the fire and wanted to steal it for himself. When he approached the mound and prepared to swallow it, the fire suddenly shot up into the sky, thus creating the sun.

-Program Notes by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Contra Costa Wind Symphony (Walnut Creek, Calif.) (Brad Hogarth, conductor) - 9 March 2014
  • Contra Costa Wind Symphony (Walnut Creek, Calif.) (Duane Carroll, conductor) - 9 March 2014

Works for Winds by This Composer