Posted By kerryturner on April 5, 2007
I had made mention some time ago, that I was and would continue to be in the process of composing a symphony. I may have posted a blog announcing the completion of the first movement, which is called “The Sword of Saint Michael”. Well, I have now finshed the second movement. It is called “The Tears of Charlemagne”. Some of you may recall that “Charlemagne” had been originally written for Carolyn Blice and the Rollins College Horn Ensemble by whom it had been commissioned. This version shall continue to exist, and indeed be sold and performed. It works quite well as a horn ensemble work. But I had always entertained the idea that it would make a splendid symphonic work. And as I brushed up the finishing touches of “The Sword of Saint Michael”, it became very clear to me that “Charlemagne” was going to be the second movement. This piece is a processional which features a giant double-fugue. The idea was born upon a visit to the Vatican in Rome a couple of years ago. We were shown a piece of the rare, marooon marble stone at the entrance to Saint Peter´s Basilica, which supposedly marks the spot where, in the year 800, Charlemagne was crowned King of the Holy Roman Empire. Legend has it that Charlemagne weapt tears of joy upon that very spot. Of course, looking back at the progression of mankind and the subsequent developement of European history since that monumental crowning, it could also be interpreted that the new emperor was perhaps shedding tears of sadness for that which was about to unfold.
Sorry to wax on so philosophically. The point is, the piece was meant to be unusually profound and contain more esoteric meaning. Both the original composing of the work as well as the recent arrangement of it proved to be an emotional and spiritual business. Then, as I was putting on the last touches of this movement, the title of the third movement came into focus: “Candles in the Darkness”. The melody for this movement has already been composed, and I look forward to setting it to score very soon.I took this photograph just before I tagged on the last bars of the 2nd movement (Tears of Charlemagne) of my symphony.