Summer Sprite for Orchestra

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Summer Sprite for Orchestra was completed in December, 2004. The piece originated from a singular encounter with little angels at Chang-Kyung Palace, which is the oldest and the most beautiful palace in Korea, and where the kings of the Chosun Dynasty (1393-1897) lived. This encounter was in the summer of 2002. I certainly could not prove that those angels I met were real. Possibly they were the reflection of drops of water after a sudden shower on that summer day. However, I definitely remember that short, unforgettable, and mysterious moment and the angels' beautiful dance-like celebration. Summer Sprite is based on these special memories and the encounter with the little angels that summer.

Summer Sprite consists of 3 movements: "Greeting," "Encounter," and "Celebration." These follow the course of my encounter with the little angels. In Summer Sprite, I wished to describe the image of the angels as well as the progression of greeting, encounter, and celebration with them. The moods that follow in Summer Sprite are by turns lyrical, poetic, fantastic, mysterious, and dream-like. In each movement, I describe the meeting of angels and composer through the use of the soloists -- violin (sometimes viola) and cello.

As suggested by the subtitle of the first movement, "Greeting" portrays the moment when a surprised I met the angels. It begins with tam-tam, marimba, harp, and piano and sets a mysterious and dark mood.

The second movement, "Encounter," is shorter than the first movement. This movement provides a more tranquil mood as well as more unique timbres resulting from the use of mutes and special instruments (English horn, harp, crotales, suspended cymbal, and celesta). The delicate expression of the percussion is particularly important in establishing the static mood of this movement .

The last movement, °?Celebration,°± is bright and energetic. It is also the longest. Here, I require the most delicate changes of dynamics and tempo, the most vigorous harmonies, and the fastest rhythmic figures, as well as the most independent, lyrical, and poetic melodies. For bright orchestral tone color, I used various kinds of percussion such as timpani, xylophone, marimba, vibraphone, cymbals, side drum, tambourine, triangle, and bass drum. This last movement is divided rondo-like into five sections: The first (mm.1-3), second (mm.4 - rehearsal number 1), third (rehearsal numbers 2-4), fourth (rehearsal numbers 5-7), and fifth, (rehearsal numbers 8 -18).

To sum up, Summer Sprite describes an unforgettable and mysterious moment in a my life. My intention was to portray this through a concerto-like framework. A model for this would be Brahms°Ø °?Double Concerto°± in A minor, op.102, in which the solo cello stands for my angel and the solo violin (sometimes solo viola) for me.