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maecenas music - wind bands and ensembles

The Moon in the Riverfor Chamber Ensemble

McAlister, Clark

1922 saw the appearance of a little book of poems that impacted both literary and musical circles, The Works of Li-Po, the eighth-century Chinese poet, translated and edited by Shigeyoshi Obata. McAlister's Moon in the River was written in 2003 and without treating Li-Po's subtle masterpiece in a programmatic way he responds to its general image of ambiguity of things and the duplicity of appearances. "I am fascinated by the idea that things are sometimes not what they seem, as perhaps the reflection of a full moon on the surface of a still river. Reflection, refraction, distortion . . . are concepts that lend themselves to musical expression and realisation." The effect, like the verse is one of utmost simplicity, but the technique, like the poet's, is meticulous, polished and suggestive.

Scoring: Flute doubling Piccolo, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, String Quartet and Double Bass.

Duration: c. 7.18 minutes


Set and score

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Score preview


The Moon in the River

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