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Beyond All Walking (1998)

Duration: ~ 10 minutes

Available from Theodore Presser Company

1998 Winner of the Symphony in C Young Composers' Competition

Peabody Conservatory Orchestra, Conductor Teri Murai

2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 Bb clarinets, 2 bassoons; 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, 2 trombones, 1 tuba; timpani, 2 percussion (bass drum, suspended cymbal, crotales, marimba, chimes, triangle); harp; piano; strings

Program Notes

"The music's expression ranges from declamatory to lyrical. The large gestures are big indeed, as in the opening. It's a magpie of influences, even contemporary influences, but it adds up to something personal, just as Rachmaninoff's music does. Also, like Rachmaninoff, Scurria's dramatic and lyrical interpenetrate. The singing is intense, slightly melancholy, the drama tinged with tenderness... Roughly two minutes from the end comes a gorgeous, elegiac chorale for strings - something awfully hard to keep up for that long - capped by a "blue note" in the solo flute for a stunning, if enigmatic conclusion." (Classical Net)

Beyond All Walking is based on a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke (published in the book: AHEAD OF ALL PARTING, The Selected Poetry and Prose of Rainer Maria Rilke, Modern Library, 1995, Translated by Stephen Mitchell) entitled Going Blind.

Going Blind

She sat just like the others as the table.
But on second glance she seemed to hold her cup
a little differently as she picked it up.
She smiled once. It was almost painful.

And when they finished and it was time to stand
and slowly as chance selected them they left
and moved through many rooms (they talked and laughed)
I saw her. She was moving far behind

The others absorbed like someone who will soon
have to sing before a large assembly;
upon her eyes which were radiant with joy
light played as on the surface of a pool.

She followed slowly taking a long time
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though once it was overcome
she would be beyond all walking and would fly.

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