Completed in Baltimore, Maryland on September 2, 2013, "Supplica" was jointly commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.
The title means, perhaps unsurprisingly, "supplication" in Italian. There is no doubt in my mind that this work has a strong relationship to my Fourth Symphony, completed earlier in 2013. However, it is more of a challenge to define precisely what that relationship might be. It certainly is not a "completion of" nor "afterthought to" the symphony. It is also not some sort of "antipode" to this same symphony. Perhaps it might best be described as a "companion piece".
Both were works I felt an inner compulsion to write, but both also possess meanings for me that must remain personal. This certainly does not mean that either piece is intended to be "impersonal" - rather that what I hope will be heard as both an intimate and an impassioned communication in sound must mean to each listener what it will, without further intercession or guidance from the me.
"Supplica" is scored for an orchestra consisting of four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, harp, and strings; it lasts for approximately ten minutes.
— Christopher Rouse
This program note may be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with a credit to the composer.