Green Flash

for Orchestra

Roger Zare

Performing Ensemble: Orchestra
Duration: 00:09:30
Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

Program Notes by Roger Zare
A "green flash" is a rare atmospheric phenomenon that occurs as a sunset reaches its end. If conditions are just right, then a spark of green will hover on the horizon for a fleeting moment as the sun disappears. I first witnessed this subtle effect in Florida in 2005. Seeing the mythical event for the first time inspired this composition.

Green Flash is a musical journey from daybreak to sunset. It focuses on the manipulation of colors and textures throughout its five sections. The musical events are designed to paint a picture of various scenes during the day. The piece begins with the heartbeat of the world emerging from the silent darkness of the night. As night transitions to dawn, waves of color propagate from the repeating low C, building up through the harmonic series to become the vibrant colors of sunrise. Eventually all twelve notes of the chromatic scale are sounding together. Abruptly, a morning fog engulfs the scene. Out of the mist rises the only melodic theme in the work, played by a solo English horn, and later taken up by other solo winds. Once the fog dissipates, the sky fills with the playful dance of wispy cirrus clouds. A rainbow-like halo surrounds the sun, adding a burst of color to the scene. This carefree, optimistic cloud dance is invaded by a menacing front of cumulonimbus clouds. A storm rages at a frantic pace, but in its dying breath yields the most glorious of sunsets. Only as the last glint of sunlight disappears below the horizon, a faint sparkle of green lingers in the atmosphere.

Scores & Parts

Green Flash - Full Score - Study

Additional Information

Composition Date 2006
Orchestration 2(2 dbl .Picc.) 2(2 dbl. E.H.) 2 2 - 4 2 2(2 dbl. B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 3Perc. Str.
Premiere February 8th, 2007. USC Thornton Symphony, conducted by Dr. Donald Crockett; USC Thornton, California.

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