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 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,
- 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
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.