Nightrising for Flute, Oboe, and Strings

    Iowa City Community String Orchestra
    Carey H. Bostian II, conductor
    Iowa City, IA

When I first read Carol Gilbertson’s poem Night Rising, I immediately heard a tone-poem for chamber orchestra. However, this piece is not a tone-poem in the traditional sense; it does not follow the poem’s structure or immediate imagery—for example, there are no pheasants or barking dogs depicted. Instead, the evocative quality of the poem inspired me to choose other images to portray through music: the shimmering activity in the upper strings represents cicadas as they begin their nighttime crescendos at sunset and the sighing half–steps recall the whispers of wind through the trees. The piece closes with the stillness of night fully risen.