Night Soundings for Orchestra, Symphony No. 6

By Barbara Harbach

I. Cloak of Darkness
II. Notturno
III. Midnight Tango

Published: 2013
Catalogue Number: H956
II. Cloak of Darkness - Excerpt from Night Soundings for Orchestra, Symphony No. 6
II. Notturno (Excerpt) from Night Soundings for Orchestra, Symphony No. 6
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H956 Full Score $49.00
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Cloak of Darkness is the hour of the wolf, between night and light, just before the dawn awakens. It is believed to be the time when demons have intensified power, our nightmares are the most real, and the sleepless are haunted by their deepest fears. The only reality is unreality, and the terrified beating of your own heart.

Notturno opens with luminous and eerie night sounds, twitters and chirps from the dark of night portrayed by the woodwinds over open fifths in the strings. Wisps of sounds and melodies portray the dry whisper of leaves, the rustle of night creatures, and the heaviness of a hot, languid night. Long melodies in the winds are reminiscent of John Field’s haunting nocturnes. Melodies float above the gentle rising movement of the strings. As more instruments enter the melodic fabric, the texture becomes more dissonant as the instruments intertwine and then wander away in the darkness. Serenity and quietness return to the landscape until all is silent as the dawn approaches.

Midnight Tango is an exploration into the dance that originated in the 1890s in the Rio de la Plata in South America, with influences from both the European and African cultures. The dance quickly spread around the world. At this midnight hour, two lovers slowly approach, drawn to music that only they can hear – the midnight tango. They begin to dance in the style of open embrace, softly, slowly and seductively. As the music sinuously builds in volume and energy, more instruments embrace the themes, enticing the lovers to dance in close embrace before driving to the ecstatic, frenetic ending.