Stephen Hartke

Muse of the Missouri

MUSE OF THE MISSOURI (2012) for Orchestra Commissioned by the Kansas City Symphony, Michael Stern Music Director, with a grant from the Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation, Kansas City, Missouri, and first performed by the Kansas City Sumphony, June 15, 2012, Michael Stern conducting Duration: 14 Minutes Orchestra: 3 Flutes (3rd doubles Piccolo), 3 Oboes, 3 B-flat Clarinets (3rd doubles Bass Clarinet), 3 Bassoons (3rd doubles Contrabassoon), 4 Horns, 3 Trumpets, 3 Trombones, Tuba, 2 Timpanists, 2 Percussionists (Vibraphone, Glockenspiel, 3 Suspended Cymbals, Bass Drum), Piano, Banjo, Harp, Strings Muse of the Missouri was commissioned by the Kansas City Symphony as part of its series of new pieces written to celebrate the many fountains in which the city so justifiably takes pleasure and pride.  This proved a congenial assignment that happened to coincide with the end of a four-year stint as visiting Barr Institute Laureate Composer at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, so I see it as a tribute to a place for which I have great affesction and where I now have many friends. The fountain from which the piece takes its title is located at 8th and Main, but the piece is really more about the city and its surroundings.  It begins gently with an evocation of the Missouri River and unfolds as something of a journey through a landscape of flowing water and leaping fountains, the views constantly changing as we progress, new scenes appearing around corners and then earlier one suddenly seen again from a different vantage point. The work is dedicated with gratitude to my dear friend, Michael Stern and the Kansas City Symphony.
Recording: Boston Modern Orchestra Project Gil Rose, Conductor BMOP 1050
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YouTube: BMOP Gil Rose, Conductor