Composer's note, January 2011:
As I set about to compose this salute to the New England Music Camp in celebration of its seventy-fifth anniversary, I couldn’t help thinking of America’s first truly modern composer, Connecticut’s son, Charles Ives.
Ives gave birth in his iconoclastic music to musical concepts that were completely original - sometimes outrageously daring and complex. Though I avoided the temptation to tip my hat in some musical way to Ives, he was often in my thoughts as I composed. Perhaps because Ives makes strong references to the New England transcendentalists - Emerson, Whitman, Thoreau
- in his Essay Before a Sonata, the specters of those philosophers were also running through my head.
My tone poem opens with a quiet starlit night. Several moods follow, each more energetic than the one before. Ultimately, the climax is reached in an energetic fugato section. Suddenly, all motion is suspended for several seconds, and gradually the opening scenes return, only in reverse order.
Years ago, I spent a summer in the Berkshires of Massachusetts and a part of another summer in the Green Mountains of Vermont. The descriptive title New England in the Summer feels right to me.