Commissioned for the London Symphony Orchestra through the LSO Discovery Panufnik Composers Scheme, generously supported by Lady Hamlyn and the Helen Hamlyn Trust

  • 3(afl.pic).3(ca).3(bcl).2+cbn/4331/timp.2perc/pf.hp/str(
  • 17 min

Programme Note

Sunfall took inspiration from several sources. The first was the sunset scene of Thomas Moran’s 1875 painting Fiercely the Red Sun Descending/Burned His Way Along the Heavens. The vivid colours of the sky juxtaposed with the darker tones below create a deeply dramatic seascape. During composition, I also read Cormac McCarthy’s classic, Blood Meridian, in which the sun plays an important part illuminating the landscapes of the story. I attempted to translate some of this imagery into music in my piece. Zoomed in, the sun exhibits danger and heat, reflected in the more dramatic passages of my work; zoomed out it exhibits peace, light and beauty, reflected in the more still and melodic passages. The majority of the piece was written in the countryside, during the lockdown period of 2020, where I was accompanied by the setting sun - not unlike the one depicted in Moran’s painting - many a night of composing. Perhaps this adds yet another layer of meaning behind the title of the work. 


Joel Järventausta


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