- Chorale – The chorale melody, taken from the 371 Four-part Chorales by J. S. Bach, is “Jesu, meine Freude,” meaning “Jesus my joy,” or “Jesus my pleasure.” It is one of my favorite tunes which I have also used in Recitation Book for saxophone quartet, and Symphony No. 8.
- “You are the image of the unending world” – This line comes from The Red Book of Carl Jung. It relates in my mind to the Buddhist image of the “Pure Land,” which is about a returning of the earth to its original pristine balance. “You are the image of the unending world…” It is through each of us that the Pure Land is reborn.
- Sanctus – This movement grows out of the Chorale melody “Heilig, Heilig,” meaning “Holy, Holy,” which is the opening of the Sanctus from the Latin Mass: Sanctus Dominos Deus Sabbath: “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are filled with your glory. Hosanna in the highest.” Sanctus is a quiet, and sometimes whimsical, paean to the beauty and holiness of the living earth, and to all its creatures and plant life.
- Dragons and Devils of the Heart – a quote and a poem:
Carl Jung: “It is wise to nourish the soul, otherwise you breed dragons and devils in your heart.”
Sometimes when the fights begin,
I think I’ll let the dragons win,
But then again perhaps I won’t,
Because they’re dragons, and I don’t.
The image of the dragon is fearful, and from the quote and the poem we have the feeling of a necessary struggle, and a requirement of victory over the dragon in order to be whole. But there are other images of the dragon: there protector of the priceless treasure; the guardian of the heart, which is the gateway of the Source. To “defeat” the dragon is to come into relationship with your own deepest power.
- O Earth, O Stars – is the song before the Agnus Dei in my setting of the Latin Mass. The text is one poem of the set entitled Hymn to Sofia, Holy Wisdom written by Richard Beale for the Mass project.
O Earth, O Stars, who watch our pain and our joy,
Lift us up that we may see our Mother once again.
Together we live the only life there is.
Music flows from our union.
When the universe expands and contracts,
It is the love we have for each other.
It is one breath.
Mother of womanly embrace,
Wrap us in the womb
Of your unending love.
“Music flows from our union…” – the center of this concerto, and the center of life.
- Chorale – The melody which I have borrowed is Aus tiefer Not schrei Ich zu dir – From Deepest Need I Cry to You – the human condition, and knocking on the door of the Source for help; the transformation of the heart.
Program Note by David Maslanka