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Aaron Jay Kernis

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Whisper, Echo, A Cry (2014)
AMP and AJK Music
Year Composed
6 Minutes
Programme Note
Aaron Jay Kernis Whisper, Echo, A Cry (2014)


Composer note:
Whisper, Echo, A Cry is not a fanfare. Over the years I've written an number of concert openers, fanfares and even some pieces for orchestra that seem to need to fill a function to be loud, fast, noble, happy, or cheery — not that there's anything wrong with that…but this is not one of those.

When I began this piece I decided to develop musical ideas that chart a very different course (while still suggesting elements of fanfares by featuring the brass, often playing dotted, echoing rhythms). These ideas work with strongly contrasting moods — gentleness, slow-building agitation and their inevitable, dramatic outcomes.

These ideas are all suggested in the title — a very quiet opening texture with a lyrical trumpet melody followed by many different echoes of that music and its fanfare-like rhythms, and, later on music that builds to a full-throttle outcry.

Whisper, Echo, A Cry was written for the 75th-anniversary celebrations of the San Antonio Symphony in 2014.

— Aaron Jay Kernis

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