Redwall Symphonic Poem for Orchestra
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Redwall is programmatically based off of the Redwall book series by Brian Jacques. The story takes place in a medieval world where animals are given human characteristics. The protagonist, Martin, is a slave mouse who becomes a warrior to avenge the death of his father at the hands of Badrang the Tyrant. He falls in love with a mouse named Rose, eventually losing her when she is killed by Badrang. After defeating Badrang, Martin gives up his sword and builds Redwall Abbey, a place where all animals can exist peacefully. The piece is divided into five elided movements. The first, “Martin,” introduces the three main thematic ideas. The first idea, the open fifth, is used throughout the piece. It represents the malleability of Martin's character. The second is Martin's theme, also based on fifths, which is first heard in the trumpet. It is present throughout all five movements, in itself, relatively unchanged. The surrounding sound; however, colors how the listener perceives Martin's emotions. Finally, a short chorale is presented in the woodwinds. Meditative in sound, the chorale signals a change in Martin's character. The second movement, “Mossflower Woods,” shows Martin's first view of the area where he would eventually settle down. The constant motion of the woodwinds in this movement represents the ever present cacophony of sounds and movements in a forest. While mostly calm and beautiful, the forest is not without its dangers. As the piece darkens, the third movement introduces Badrang the Tyrant. He is represented musically by the octatonic scale and a four note bass theme (F#- C-Ab-F). The fourth movement, “Mourning Rose,” displays Martin's grief at losing his love. Through this despair Martin's resolve grows as the movement builds. Eventually the chorale signals his decision to give up his sword and turn his sadness into hope in the building of a home where all animals can be safe. The fifth movement, “Redwall Abbey,” portrays the building of this home, and the joy for Martin of finding his final purpose in life: protecting and caring for those that need it.
Table of Contents
Abstract -- Sections -- Instrumentation -- Performance notes -- Redwall -- Vita