incidental music for string orchestra and timpani, based on a theme by Edvard Grieg; 10′ (2013)
(commissioned by the Elgin Symphony Orchestra)
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“The Raven” was written as underscoring to be played by a live orchestra underneath a dramatic reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” It takes the beautiful, mournful “Aase’s Death” from Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” as source material, but elaborates on that work, expanding and deepening it. The most obvious addition is a somber 3-note timpani figure that comes back over and over again, echoing the 3-syllable “nevermore” that repeats throughout Poe’s poem. Like the original Grieg work, “The Raven” is a very spare piece of music, but it takes that empty quality and adds an ominous sense of foreboding, creating a gothic, spooky mood that just can’t be shaken off.