Across the Still Water (2022) - for Countertenor and Piano
When my aunt Jan passed away from Alzheimer’s disease in 2015, I struggled to express and comprehend the complex emotions I was experiencing. I adored my aunt Jan – an absolutely loving and kind human - and watching her ever-so-slowly slip away because of this terrible disease was such a painful experience. I happened to find the poem Gone from My Sight by Luther F. Beecher while grieving, and it gave me hope that she was finally at peace. I have thought about this poem often, and when I realized I was going to compose my first vocal work for this concert, and have it sung by my dear friend Aaron S. Ricucci-Hill, I immediately knew I wanted to have this poem serve as the text.
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."
Gone where? Gone from my sight. That is all.
She is just as large in mast, hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port. Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"
And that is dying...
Duration: Approx. 6 minutes
Format: PDF Score (countertenor and piano)
World premiere performance can be heard here: soundcloud.com/ianlester-1/across-the-still-water-world-premiere-performance
Copyright © 2022 Ian Lester
Sonata for Trumpet No. 1 (2019)
Sonata for Trumpet No. 1 is a semi-programmatic work with specific moods and emotions contained within each of the four movements:
I. Moderato: Serious, joyous.
II. Dream-like: Ruminative, calm
III. Driving, Rhythmic: Energetic, persistent, determined
IV. Slow, Menacing: Sinister, foreboding
Duration: 13 minutes
Format: PDF Score and Solo Part
Copyright © 2019 Ian Lester
Sonata for Flute No. 1 (2018)
Sonata for Flute No. 1 draws inspiration from various sources:
I. Mysteriously: The first movement is loosely inspired by Brahms' Clarinet Sonata in F Minor and the long melodic lines and wide intervallic leaps found in that work. Irish folk music was another influence, and a jig-like section followed by a brief cadenza leads us into a Stravinsky-esque, technical section. After a brief moment of tranquility in the form of a slow jazz passage, the movement ends with a recap of the original thematic material.
II. Romantically: The second movement of mixes elements reminiscent of Beethoven and the film music of Hollywood Western movies, specifically scores by Ennio Morricone.
III. Aggressively: The last movement is an aggressive tour de force finale which constantly switches between ideas but always ends up coming back to the repeated two quarter-note flutter-tongued motive before coming to a joyous conclusion
Duration: 11 minutes
Format: PDF Score and Parts
Copyright © 2018 Ian Lester