Over thorns to stars
for string orchestra and optional tenor, tenor saxophone or horn

Stephen Chatman
Composition Date: 2003
Genre: Solo Voice, With String Orchestra (With or Without Keyboard)

Instrumentation:

Instrumentation Set Number 1:
  • 1 x Saxophone
  • 1 x String orchestra
Instrumentation Set Number 2:
  • 1 x Horn
  • 1 x String orchestra
Instrumentation Set Number 3:
  • 1 x Tenor
  • 1 x String orchestra
Click here to download full work (9.28 Mb - Not printable)

Programme Note:
In June, 2002, I was commissioned by CBC Radio "Take Five" Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, Live to Air "Over Thorns to Stars" broadcast, in honour of victims of the September 11 attacks. This ten-minute work "Per Aspera ad Astra" for string quartet and off-stage tenor, was then arranged in 2003 for string orchestra and optional tenor, tenor saxophone or horn, and retitled "Over Thorns to Stars". In composing "Over Thorns to Stars", I attempted to express through music many emotions: agony, love, valour, determination, and above all, the resilience of the human spirit. The work's simple austere opening is to be played with great dignity-- the slow rising lines, constantly increasing in intensity, express hopefulness and strength-- the direct musical language, as well as open chords, sound deliberately "North American". The off-stage tenor solo or instrument at the climax, sings the Latin translation (per aspera ad astra) of the title "with strong controlled emotion", which represents the voice of a hero. In a broader sense, the tenor symbolizes eternal optimism and courage.

Premiere Information:
Nov 22 and 24, 2003, Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver; Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Bramwell Tovey, conductor.

CATALOGUE INFO:

  • Call Number:
  • MV 1600 C494ove 2003
  • Genre:
  • Solo Voice, With String Orchestra (With or Without Keyboard)
  • Date of Acquisition:
  • September 14, 2004
  • Type:
  • Print-music, Published by CMC
  • Physical Description:
  • 1 score (ii, 7 p.) ; 32 cm.
    9 Pages
    Height: 32 cm
    Parts page count: 18
    5 parts ([18] p.) ;
    Height: 32 cm
  • Additional Information:
  • For string orchestra with optional tenor, tenor saxophone, or horn.

    Dedicated to Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
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