Linda Tutas Haugen
About this work:
Memoria Tenere, (Latin for “to hold in memory”) was
commissioned by the Minnesota Youth Symphonies for their 25th
Anniversary Celebration Concert and premiered at Orchestra Hall in
Minneapolis in 1997. The inspiration for the piece was drawn from
visits to Arlington National Cemetery, and two days spent at the
battlefields of Gettysburg. The music reflects the enormous sacrifice
of the soldier and the legacy of that sacrifice. The work is dedicated to
all those who have died for freedom.
The piece begins with motives and rhythms in the percussion that
are developed throughout the composition. The horns introduce the
first theme, an expression of American patriotism and
conviction. The theme is developed among the brass and returns later
in both its original and an altered form.
The second more lyrical theme is presented by the strings and
later restated with fuller orchestration. It portrays the essence of
freedom, the unbridled quality found in nature and the human
spirit. Between statements of this theme is a brass chorale interlude
that reflects a rich American hymn tradition.
The third theme is presented by the clarinets accompanied by
string pizzicato. It is the emergence of the individual experience, the
long walk to battle, the realizations and emotions along the
way. Additional thematic material derived from this theme
is developed as the section intensifies.
Most of the thematic material returns fragmented, altered and
combined in a developmental section of growing urgency leading to the
emotional climax of the work. This section portrays the full realization
of battle in individual, human terms. From the climax, a passacaglia
derived from the second theme emerges in the low strings, depicting
the emotional aftermath.
In the final section, the piccolo introduces a dance-like section
that celebrates victory and freedom. The second theme returns in its
fullest orchestration. The piece ends with a trumpet solo that hearkens
back to “Taps,” first used during the Civil War as one regiment’s call to
assemble, and ever since, as a tribute at a soldier’s final resting place.
Year composed: 1997
Ensemble type: Orchestra:Standard Orchestra