Program Note: When Franz Schubert set Christian Friedrich Daniel Schubart’s Die Forelle for voice and piano he omitted the final stanza. Not necessarily renowned as a great poet, it is not surprising that Schubert chose to avoid Schubart’s arrogantly moralizing final stanza and instead focus simply on the fish and its plight as observed by a concerned onlooker. When I was invited to compose a response to the Die Forelle-inspired movement of Schubert’s Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667 I sought to uncover something hidden about this immensely popular work. So from the first line of Die Forelle’s ‘hidden stanza’ I took the title, Golden Spring as it reminded me of my formative years as a student at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Golden Spring employs short melodic fragments extracted from the Die Forelle movement of the original quintet as not only the primary melodic material but also the primary harmonic material in ways that are both obvious and not so obvious. As a participant in the great tradition of seeking and finding inspiration from previous musical generations, I looked back even further by incorporated motivic and formal ideas from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Quintet in D Major, K. 593 which was a work that Schubert in turn was particularly influenced by when writing his Quintet.
Golden Spring was commissioned by Illinois Wesleyan University’s School of Music in celebration of its 150th anniversary. The piece is dedicated to the premiering performers Mark Timmerman, Sharon Chung, Andrew Hesse, Stephen Press, and Joy Doran. The world premiere took place on March 5, 2015 at Illinois Wesleyan University’s Westbrook Auditorium in Bloomington, IL.
Instrumentation: for violin, viola, cello, double bass, & piano
Duration: 4 minutes