The concertante soloists open with prayerful, intertwining lines meant to evoke medieval plainchant. This simple, archaic-sounding music becomes the foundation of everything that follows. It soon gives way to a fusillade of fanfares driven by three trumpets, with the flute and violin acting as mediators in the evolving dialogue between the astral (radiant and energized) and canticle (lyrical and meditative) worlds.
Astral Canticle [has] something interesting taking place at any given moment...the strength of Thomas' new work was undeniable in this first performance. There's no doubt Astral Canticle will make its way through the orchestral world.