Chamber symphony : Wondrous love
Hallum, Christopher David
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Wondrous Love (public domain) is an old American hymn tune that I have known for a long time, and I have used it as the primary source material for my Chamber Symphony, trying throughout the piece to vary the texture and mood of the music. The piece opens with a sort of static texture, which gives way to a section where veiled references to the hymn tune become gradually more apparent. This veiled section almost dies away when the next section begins with a clear woodwind choir announcement of the first part of Wondrous Love. This short section, which is primarily transitional in nature, then moves through the strings, brass, and other instruments to effect a modulation into the next section. The next section is the first full announcement of the Wondrous Love hymn tune. While the music itself does not really change for the next two iterations of the tune in the section, the instrumentation is varied, and there is a modulation. This rather transparent music then dies away to a single note in the violins; this serves as a transition into a dreamlike section. This dreamlike music ends rather suddenly with an explosive tutti moment of which augmentation and open sonorities are the most salient features. The piece then comes to a close shortly thereafter with music that gradually dies away.