for Orchestra (2004)
Commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra
Premiere: Minnesota Orchestra/Mischa Santora, conductor – October 2004
Duration: 4 minutes
3(picc).3.3.3 (cbsn) – – timp; 3 perc; pno; harp – st

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Ichabod was commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra on the occasion of the orchestra’s centennial and was intended for a series of youth concerts at Minneapolis’s Orchestra Hall in October, 2004. The concerts, having a Halloween theme, suggested the use of some frightening tale as a backdrop, and hence, I chose the classic Washington Irving story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow as a point of departure. In the story, there are many references to the protagonist, Ichabod, and his enjoyment in singing psalm tunes. Ichabod would sing these tunes not only for his enjoyment though, but also to ward off his paranoid fears of being hunted by the headless horseman. Having a musical reference in the story suggested to me the use of a pre-existing tune, specifically, an 18th century folk-hymn, as a characterization of Ichabod. As one might imagine, there is also a characterization of the headless horseman in a four note, staccato motive that appears in several different guises throughout the piece. The idea was to create a real drama suggested by the interaction of these two musical ideas and the change they impose on one another throughout the piece. A programmatic approach is implied by the title, and yet the music is not related to the story on a point by point basis with the intention that the youth present at the concerts, for which this piece was commissioned, could supply an imaginary narrative.

Additional information

Score Dimensions

Page Size: 11"x17"

Part Dimensions

Page Size: 8.5"x11"