Elegy For Orchestra (In Memoriam Otto Leuning)

Symphony orchestra
2-0-2-2; 4-2-3-1; timp; perc; strings

7 minutes


Commissioned by the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony

Also available for 2-2-0-2; 4-2-3-1; timp, perc, strings

Program Note

Elegy for Orchestra (In Memoriam Otto Luening) (1997) was commissioned by the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony; it is dedicated to the Symphony and to Edwin Outwater, who was their conductor at the time. It has since been performed by the Santa Barbara Symphony as well. A pioneer of electronic music, Otto Luening was a wonderful composer, flautist, sage, and a very dear friend. It felt especially appropriate to dedicate this piece to his memory since he was devoted to the musical education of young people and wrote many works for Youth Symphony himself.

The Elegy is in the form of a chorale prelude in the manner of Bach: here, an original chorale-like melody, harmonized in the brass, appears periodically in the midst of an elegiac but peaceful texture dominated by woodwind lines.  The last section of the piece moves away from this scheme; finally, a solo violin enters to bring the work to a quiet conclusion.