Choices and Remembrances
We all have many feelings and emotions, the cry of heartbreak, enduring love, humor, pathos, giddiness, allusions to music, literature, art, liquor, and food. Choices and Remembrances is looking back on the choices we made and remembering that some were agonizing choices, and remembering them brings back bitter memories, while other memories trace back to the innocence of childhood, and those choices were often filled with delight and love.
The piece is multi-sectional with eight sections, almost like a musical stream of consciousness.
- The first section is desolate, solemn with the strings introducing the mournful melody and later developing countermelodies.
- The waltz brings a change of mood featuring two themes with various solos that are then interrupted by the brass.
- The beginning melody returns briefly and now features the trumpet, piccolo, flute, and horn before juxtaposing into playful, happy childhood memories that are now long past. In 6/8 time, melodies and countermelodies careen together, reminiscent of the skipping music enjoyed by children.
- Then comes a choice we made that brings a horrific and dark memory, melancholic and tinged with regret. The slow, contemplative music begins with an ostinato melody for solo violin, then follows imitation, canons, more ostinatos, and ending with tension building in the double bass.
- Relief comes momentarily with a memory of nostalgia, alternating 2/4 and 4/4 led by the trumpet, horn, and bassoon, that crescendos to a quick climax that disappears and dissolves into the shadows.
- The haunting melody of dark memories returns with much imitation leading to dissonant chords of regret that breaks the movement’s momentum.
- The waltz returns with new counterpoint, ending quietly.
- A noble theme of hope is superimposed over a bouncing and rhythmic fugue lined out by the cellos touting various key changes. Although dark memories intrude in the fugue, this last section combines and interweaves all the themes leading to a parade of melodies that remind us of the immortal lyrics of Paul Anka, sung by Frank Sinatra: