Beyond Autumn “Poem” for Horn and Orchestra was commissioned by the International Horn Society, and in part by the Barlow Endowment at Brigham Young University. The work received its premiere performance by the Dallas Symphony, Gregory Hustis, principal horn, Andrew Litton- music director and conductor, September 30, 1999, in Eugene McDermott Concert Hall, Meyerson Symphony Center, Dallas, TX. The work has been recorded by the orchestra along with other Schwantner orchestral works on Hyperion Records CDA67493.
The horn, a most demanding and an unforgiving instrument to master, is capable of a remarkably wide range of music expression. At times, highly assertive, arresting and heroic, it also possesses a darkly evocative and distantly veiled nature that can blend intimately with the most delicate and transparent orchestral textures. This work engages those dramatic, lyrical and elegiac qualities that are a part of the horn's expansive expressive persona, and is further illuminated and informed by the eloquent musicianship of Gregory Hustis.
Beyond Autumn is dedicated to the memory of my father-in-law, Jack Rossate, a kind and gentle man who blessed my family with his presence for ninety-six years. A brief original poem frames the poetic backdrop for the work:
the willow's mist
bathes the shadowed land,
in a distant past