orch. David Hamilton
American River Suite, which is dedicated to the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s historic voyage, is a musical tone poem for soloists, choir and orchestra composed in five sections that captures the many moods of the river and its history.
The piece takes the listener on a musical journey, beginning with the song “Half Moon,” which announces Hudson’s arrival through the mist, to the bold vistas of “Majestic Valley”; from the fiery fiddle-playing of “Sparks and Smoke,” which celebrates The Clermont, the first steamboat to sail the Hudson River, to the infectious “River at Play.” The Suite ends in the present day with “American River,” a song which celebrates the spirit and vitality of this river we love.
I truly enjoyed writing the music for this piece and collaborating with lyricist William Schermerhorn and David Hamilton, who provided the thrilling orchestrations.
— Stephen Flaherty