The work was written at the request of Symphony Number One of Baltimore as a result of winning their 2015 Call for Scores Competition. The instrumentation for Straussian Landscapes directly mirrors the instrumentation of Richard Strauss' late works for wind ensemble (TrV 288 and 291). It uses snippets and textures from Strauss’s operas and orchestral tone poems to create entirely new musical landscapes of sound. The work falls into three sections, which are all performed in succession. The first, Night Birds, begins with undulating low orchestral wind texture inspired by Nacht from Strauss’ Alpine Symphony. A middle interlude featuring a chorale of Straussian harmonies for french horns seques into the final section, Salome’s Kiss. This eleven minute dramatic movement is built entirely out of woodwind textures from one measure in the final scene of this opera.
The piece is scored for:
- 2 flutes
- 2 oboes
- E-flat clarinet
- 2 B-flat clarinets
- Basset horn
- bass clarinet
- 2 bassoons
- 4 horns
McCabe, Brett (September 21, 2016). "Symphony Number One prepares to begin season two." Johns Hopkins University Hub.
Lundquist, Tiffany (October 25, 2015). "Symphony Number One Opened September 23 and 24 with Wealth of Winds." The Peabody Post.
Ms. Horst is a composer who has devoted herself to the performance, creation, and instruction of classical music. Her music has also been performed by performers and groups such as th e Fromm Players, CUBE, Earplay, Alea III, Empyrean Ensemble, Susan Narucki, Left Coast Ensemble, Dal Niente, The Women's Philharmonic, Composers, Inc., members of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Eric Mandat, and Amy Briggs. Ms. Horst has won the Copland Award, the 2005 Alea III International Composition Competition for her work Threads, and the Rebecca Clarke International Composition Competition for her work Cloister Songs, based on 18th century utopian poetry. She has held fellowships at the MacDowell Colony, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Wellesley Conference, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and Dartington International School in the UK. Her work Piano Sonata No. 1, recorded by acclaimed pianist Lara Downes, was released nationally by Crossover Media.
Dr. Horst currently teaches composition and theory at Illinois State University and has also taught at the University of California, Davis, East Carolina University, and San Francisco State University.
For more information about Martha and to hear some of her music, visit marthacallisonhorst.com.