To the Light

Tom Harrold (1991)

To the Light 2017

2.2.2.1.cbn - 2200 - timp - strings (8.6.4.4.2)
Duration 
14

'To the Light' is, in its most basic of forms, a movement from darkness to light which surges through an arch-form structure. The music exists as one continuous movement, but can be divided into three distinct sections: a quiet, restrained opening within which a baleful, wistful solo cello wails above dark string chords; a potent, insistent middle where the brass vie for supremacy against the strings; and a return to the yearning material found in the opening, but only this time the music has in many ways been distilled, or damaged, by the energised middle section that preceded it.

The descending trio of chords heard at the opening of 'To the Light' underpin the entire body of harmonic material found within the piece. This harmonic sound-world, which infects the whole work, was created by utilising rotations and extensions of these chords. These various iterations also led to the construction of the melodic material, which is dominated by minor sixths and thirds. The energised middle section is essentially a collage of musical moments which are hung together by these chordal progressions and melodic ideas. These series of moments lead breathlessly to the climax of the piece: a cleansing arrival into Db minor which quickly dissipates.

'To the Light' was commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with funding from the PRS for Music Foundation, Cruden Foundation, and RVW Trust. It is dedicated to my grandfather, Alexander Scott, who died in 2016.

Tom Harrold

Performances 
22.11.17 Ayr Town Hall: Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Joseph Swensen
23.11.17 Queen's Hall, Edinburgh: Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Joseph Swensen
24.11.17 City Halls, Glasgow: Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Joseph Swensen
2
Flute
2
Oboe
2
Clarinet
2nd doubling bass clarinet
2
Bassoon
2nd contrabassoon
2
Horn
2
Trumpet
1
Timpani
8
Violin
6
Violin II
4
Viola
4
Cello
2
Double bass
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