SCORED FOR: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in Bb, 2 bassoons, 4 horns in F, 3 trumpets in C, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, 4 percussionists, harp, strings. TOTAL TIME: [5:00]
The Precipiceis an orchestral tone poem commissioned by Kelly Detwiler and Stephanie Everett, hosts of the 2013 Western Region Orchestra of the Pennsylvania Music Educators’ Association. The work depicts a majestic, fictional precipice that expands into the horizon. The work begins with a pastorale setting of the rock cliff as a shimmering pulse in the mallet percussion, harp, and piano, gives way to orchestral colors subtly shifting around the blanket of sound—evoking a feeling of an uneasy serenity. This pulse slowly builds to a dramatic explosion of energy and quickly shifts to an eerie uneasiness, however each time returning to the triumphant opening. The overwhelming grandeur of such a large formation gives one a sense of humbling awe as a beautiful melody grows from the winds and strings. As this idea grows, the opening majestically returns as the work triumphantly comes to a close.