For What Is Lost

As the title suggests, this is music about memory and nostalgia. It is framed by a fragmented 12 tone theme that continually climbs, underpinned by rich tonal harmonies that eventually swirl to the surface. In the middle section a lyrical melody arises in the piano, answered by the clarinet. Eventually this also is swept away, as if by the winds of time, and we are left with the fragmented ‘searching’ theme that opened the piece, this time on the piano. Again the tonal harmonies rise to the surface, but to no avail. The melody cannot be retrieved – only our memory of it remains. Both the 12 tone theme and the harmonies that underpin the whole piece are derived from the Schubert song ‘Trockne Blumen’ or ‘Dried Flowers’, the theme of which is also loss.

For What Is Lost was originally the second movement of Renascence, the now withdrawn concerto for piano and wind ensemble.


This music is available fromĀ Star Music Publishing where you may view a score and listen to the performance by the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Wind Ensemble under Jack Stamp, October 12, 2008.