page one of the Bb Clarinet 2 part from A Summer Symphony, Opus 7

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Full details

Link to Performance:

"A Summer Symphony" Program Notes by Paul T. McGraw

Fond memories of summer days of youth and coming of age in the 1960's.

Mvt. I – Summer Days - Glorious summer has arrived! No school! Long days outdoors riding bikes, hiking through the woods, and taking off socks and shoes to splash in the creek. Afternoon thunderstorms, standing in the cool rain, and loving the feeling of getting soaking wet. And always the hope of an even better day tomorrow. Memories fade and lose focus, but the dreams of summer remain.

Mvt. II – Summer Nights - Gradually memories of summer nights of youth come into focus. The light fades, the sky turns dark blue and the day is over. The fireflies appear and are so beautiful as they twinkle in the dark. It is quiet and cool after the heat of the day.

Mvt. III – Summer Pastimes – In my youth, we boys hung out together every day, played at war, and hunted for snakes and other critters. We had bicycle races that zoomed around our neighborhood. But most of all, we played never-ending games of baseball. Every day we played baseball!

Mvt. IV – To Boldly Go – "Star Trek" captured our imagination in 1966, the year I turned 13. It was a year of transition from boyhood toward becoming a young adult. The summer of my childhood ended, which seems sad in retrospect; but it also marked the beginning of new adventures and new personal frontiers to explore and experience. It was a time “to boldly go” where every man has gone before.

Composition Notes Mvt. I - is in sonata form, and is intended to have a pastoral character, depicting the beauty, and the majesty of God's creation. Mvt. II - the form is similar to a Rondo i.e. Intro, A, B, C, A, B, Coda. Mvt III - a lopsided Scherzo. with variation and development of the A section, interspersed with variations on a fragment from "Take Me Out to the Ballgame". Mvt IV - Intended to be similar to a movie "end credits" track, it is free form, with the A theme from Summer Days appearing in a new guise as the B theme in this movement. The symphony ends with a cautious optimism mixed with sadness, a more accurate picture of coming of age for most of us than a bombastic triumph.

About the Composer Paul T. McGraw was born in 1953 in Atlanta, Georgia. Paul earned degrees in music composition and education. He spent his working life in a variety of occupations as a musician, businessman, teacher and entrepreneur. Paul is now (as of 2019) happily retired and focuses on writing music, encouraged by his loving wife of over 40 years, Carol. He composes in a late-romantic style that is audience friendly and immediately accessible.

Works by Paul T. McGraw include: Conical Brass Quintet, Opus 1, Antarctic Passacaglia Opus 2, Once Upon A Midnight Grimm Opus 3, Saint Vladimir Opus 4, Tennessee River Overture Opus 5, Brass Quintet in F minor Opus 6, and A Summer Symphony Opus 7.

29 minutes
Classical music

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