PART ONE. JOSHUA: SYMPHONIC SUITE NO. 2
1 Piccolo 2 Flutes 2 Oboes 1 English Horn 2 Clarinets in B♭ 1 B♭ Bass Clarinet 2 Bassoons
4 Horns in F 3 Trumpets in C 3 Trombones Tuba
Timpani Percussionist 1 Snare, Suspended Cymbal, Crash Cymbals, Ride Cymbal, High Hat Percussionist 2 Triangle, Temple blocks, Bell Tree, High Hat, Cabasa, Congas Percussionist 3 Bass Drum
Violin 1 Violin 2 Violas Violoncellos Double bass
PROGRAM NOTES In November 1998, I attended a Cleveland Orchestra concert that featured Stravinsky’s arrangements of Variation d’Aurore and Entr’acte, and Bluebird Pas de Deux from Tchaikovsky’s ballet Sleeping Beauty. When William Preucil, concertmaster, began his first solo in the performance, I was immediately captured by his sound and virtuosity. I had never heard such beautiful playing, and I was intrigued by the prominence of the solo violin in a work that is not a concerto. Although there were several great works in that performance, Preucil’s masterful playing and the music of Sleeping Beauty lingered in my head, not only at the end of the concert but during the following weeks. I had just experienced one of the most memorable concerts of my life, and I knew I wanted to write a similar work in the future. In my ballet composition, Joshua: Symphonic Suite No. 2, I, too, use the solo violin prominently. It represents Joshua, one of the central figures in the Bible’s chronicle of the Israelites’ journey into the Promised Land. Additionally, I use several other instruments to portray key figures in this story, including the following: • a solo cello to represent Caleb, Joshua’s faithful companion, • two trombones to represent the two spies Joshua sent to Jericho before conquering the city, • the English horn to represent Rahab, a prostitute who assisted and hid the spies Joshua sent to Jericho, and • a solo tuba to represent the King of Jericho, who was defeated by the Israelites as they entered the Promised Land.
Movement 1: Joshua and Caleb Deuteronomy 34 (NIV) 7 Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone. 8 The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days, until the time of weeping and mourning was over. 9 Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So, the Israelites listened to him and did what the LORD had commanded Moses.
Joshua 1 (NIV) 10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: 11 “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.’”The piece has a tranquil beginning, in a largo 4/4 meter as Moses sees the Promised Land, dies, and is laid to rest. After Moses’ passing, Joshua and Caleb become the new leaders of the Israelites. Their mission is to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land as God commanded. As Joshua and the Israelites begin their journey, the meter shifts to 6/8 and the tempo increases to allegro. The change reflects the excitement of the Israelites as they anticipate the fulfillment of a long-awaited promise. Caleb, represented by the solo cello, makes his first appearance in this movement as he talks to Joshua about the Promised Land. He, too, is looking forward to an assured victory in Jericho. This movement is inspired by the following musical artists: Beethoven, whose orchestration in the Seventh Symphony proved to be a great model; Paul Dukas, who writes brilliant French horn and bassoon lines in his Sorcerer’s Apprentice; Emmanuel Chabier, who displays mastery for brass writing; and Camille Saint-Saëns, who presents virtuosic solo violin work in Danse Macabre.