After the Revolution: a sonata for orchestra, 2001 (17′)
After the Revolution: a sonata for orchestra was my senior thesis at Williams College, and my first major orchestra work. I didn’t intend for it to be in Sonata form when I started writing, but the piece took charge and headed strongly in that direction. The title makes reference to the idea that even now (as in 2001, when the piece was composed), after the many revolutions of the twentieth century, the old forms — Sonata form, the orchestra, the idea of notated music — still have tremendous value. When I was writing the work, I knew that I wanted to make a “big statement” — what else could be expected from a composer in his senior year of college, with a big orchestra at his disposal? And there, if nowhere else, I think I succeeded; the work has a large scope and a long vision, with the development section accounting for nearly half the length of the piece, and reaching dramatic heights that are hardly suggested by the exposition, with the exception of the opening fanfare. (I added that opening well into the composition of the piece, because it had taken on a dimension that I didn’t anticipate when I began writing.) The recapitulation is a chaotic version of the exposition, with a coda that brings the work to an uplifting, and then mysterious, conclusion — a trope to which I’ve returned ever since. After the Revolution: a sonata for orchestra is dedicated to David Kechley.