“From the rising of the sun…” (A Short Festival Piece for Brass Quartet, Percussion and Organ) is the result of a 2012 commission from the Peachtree Road United Methodist Church of Atlanta, Georgia, in honor of the 10th anniversary of their sanctuary and organ on 9 September 2012 (The Rev. Bill Britt, Senior Minister; Scott Atchison, Director of Music and Organist; Nicole Marane, Associate Director of Music and Associate Organist). The large sanctuary for this 7000-plus-member congregation houses two extraordinary organs by Mander Organs of London, England. The Great Organ, installed in 2002, is the largest mechanical action pipe organ ever built by a British organ builder. The Gallery West End Organ was installed in 2008 and, with The Great Organ, consists of 106 stops and 135 ranks. These fine pipe organs, along with a full choral music program, attest to the vital importance of music at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.
“From the rising of the sun…” takes its inspiration and title from the theme of light as represented in the church’s Rose Window and two transept windows. The 18-foot diameter Rose Window represents creation and symbolizes God’s words from scripture as recorded in Genesis 1:3, “Let there be light.” The two transept windows represent Day and Night and are inscribed with words from Psalm 113:3: “From the rising of the sun unto its setting, Blessed be the Name of the Lord.”
Beginning quietly with the sustained organ punctuated by gentle sounds from the Bell Tree as the brass enter with low long notes, the six-note scalar idea on which the entire composition is built gradually unfolds. The full musical idea – marked by its grandeur – is soon heard in dialogue between the organ and brass, all punctuated by the percussion. A fast middle section is characterized by joyous and, at times, playful, dialogue between the organ and brass colored by the glockenspiel. This buoyant section eventually builds to its climax point, overlapping the return of the grand music heard during in the opening section. Here the primary musical material expands further to the full resources of all instruments involved. At its conclusion the listener should have little doubt of the Psalmist’s proclamation: “From the rising of the sun unto its setting, Blessed be the Name of the Lord.”
Duration : ca. 6 minutes
Although “From the rising of the sun…” is conceived for a large 3 or 4-manual organ (and registration suggestions given for such an instrument), it may be adapted to a 2-manual organ. The brass quartet consists of two Trumpets (C) and two trombones. The percussion, played by one player, consists of the following instrumentation:
Large Suspended Cymbal
2 Timpani (25” and 28”)
Large Gong (or a Tam-Tam)