for flute, clarinet, viola, percussion, and harp (2003-2004), 17′
Performed by the CCM Chamber Players at the University of Cincinnati, April 2010; at the Midwest Composers Symposium at the University of Michigan, Oct. 2004 (movement II only); at Indiana University, April 2004; and at the Brevard Music Center, Aug. 2003 (movement I only).
Evocations is a journey through both time and space. The first movement, Pompeii, is meant to capture the experience of walking through the ruined city in the present day. A place once so alive and vibrant and yet now so dominated by the shadow of its cataclysmic end, Pompeii conjures up powerful images of the past.
The second movement, The Tube, is an intermezzo of modernity set between two monuments of Europe’s past. The music attempts to evoke the sights and sounds of the subway—lights flashing past, the jarring movements of the train, riding alongside another train for a moment, standing on the platform as a train thunders by, speeding up and slowing down, subway musicians playing for tips, and so forth.
The subject of the final movement is the magnificent Gothic cathedral Notre Dame de Chartres in France. Considered by many to be one of Europe’s most beautiful cathedrals, Chartres has been preserved extraordinarily well over the centuries. This movement aims at evoking the grandeur and beauty of the place, as well as recreating the sort of mystical, unearthly aura that permeates it. The close of the piece is both ecstatic and tender. Chartres is one of the great monuments of the medieval cult of the Virgin, and pilgrims came from all over Europe to visit its precincts. To stand in this place even today, it is difficult to remain unmoved.
2. The Tube