James MacMillan’s Poetry-Inspired Orchestral Piece Premieres in Pittsburgh
In March, Her tears fell with the dews at even by James MacMillan receives its world premiere with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Manfred Honeck.
James MacMillan’s one-movement orchestral piece, Her tears fell with the dews at even, receives its world premiere on March 17-19 with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and its Music Director Manfred Honeck, at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh.
MacMillan describes the title as a “poetic snapshot” of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s 1830 poem “Mariana,” which depicts the despair of a young woman abandoned by her lover. The composer states: “This short handful of words encapsulates a moment of grief which is the basis of the enfolding music—an extended distillation of this particular emotion.”
The 12-minute work prominently features a solo flute player—MacMillan explains that “the solo flute is the most important element in this work, and carries a lot of the thematic and emotional core.” The solo flute weaves in and out of the ensemble playing, performs virtuosic episodes, and even concludes the work with an intense and introverted coda.
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Manfred Honeck have worked closely with MacMillan in recent years. During MacMillan’s residency as Composer of the Year in 2017, the orchestra gave the world premiere of his Larghetto for Orchestra—an orchestral version of his widely acclaimed 2009 choral work Miserere, arranged in honor of Honeck’s 10th season as Music Director. Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra later released the world premiere recording of Larghetto for Orchestra in 2021 on the Reference Recordings label. Her tears fell with the dews at even will be recorded on the March 2023 concert weekend for future CD release.
> Listen to Larghetto for Orchestra
Other major MacMillan performances this season include: the French premiere of Ein Lämplein verlosch with Orchestre National d'Ile de France and Vassily Sinaisky (March 26); the Dutch premiere of Symphony No.5: 'Le grand Inconnu' with MacMillan conducting the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (May 13); and the world premiere of Fiat Lux with soprano Elissa Johnston, baritone Christopher Maltman, the Pacific Chorale, the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, and Carl St. Clair (June 15).
Friday, March 17 at 8pm ET
Saturday, March 18 at 8pm ET
Sunday, March 19 at 2:30pm ET
Heinz Hall | Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Manfred Honeck, conductor
Jeanine De Bique, soprano (debut)
Catriona Morison, mezzo-soprano (debut)
Timothy Fallon, tenor
Tareq Nazmi, bass (debut)
The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh
JAMES MACMILLAN Her tears fell with the dews at even (World Premiere and Commission)
FRANZ SCHUBERT "Unfinished” Symphony
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Requiem: Mozart’s Death in Words and Music
> Further information on Work: Her tears fell with the dews at even
Photo: Marc Marnie