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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Deepest Hour for String Orchestra

  • Author(s): Brown, Kenneth Glendon
  • Advisor(s): Lefkowitz, David L
  • et al.

The Deepest Hour is an 8-minute composition for string orchestra, composed for the Russian String Orchestra conducted by Misha Rachlevsky. The RSO will be visiting UCLA in November 2018 for a one-week residency, and so the orchestration of The Deepest Hour was tailored to the specific proportions of the RSO in their traveling configuration. The piece is a single continuous movement, its musical style characterized by lyrical melody, tonal harmonic underpinnings, and linear polyphonic texture. All these are in service of a narrative whose starting point is the famous entreaty posed by Rainer Maria Rilke in the first of the Letters to a Young Poet. Rilke demands that you, the reader, “ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer.” The Deepest Hour poses the question and finds the answer; it expresses an emotional journey through doubt and fear which finally culminates in transcendent affirmation of purpose and serenity.

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