Ark for Horn and Organ

Ark was written for Carrie Smith in memory of her husband, Martin Smith - principal hornist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

The work is based on the choral work, 'Proles de Caelo’, that Dufay wrote for the Feast of Saint Francis. Saint Francis’s association with birds is the stepping stone to my ‘celebration’ of the animals on Noah’s Ark.

My work, however, depicts the darker corners of the Ark. You can hear the grunts, snorts and snarls coming from the shadows, and you can almost smell the stench filling the bilge fathoms down. There are teeth and claws, beaks and fangs, and muscle and bone in the heaving depths of the ark.

The epilogue provides a little repsite from this raw, wild energy. Now the vessel is seen from a distance and through drifting clouds of organ sounds, comes the strange arabesque-like singing of the animals wafting through
the air.

© Alastair Stout 2020