Sign of the Leviathan

Sign of the Leviathan (2015)

Like Balaam’s, this piece was meant to be a curse, but it turned into a blessing. It’s Chapter 41 in The Book of Job, but it’s not just about the inscrutability and magnificence of the Leviathan—it is also about the monster’s solitude and longing, and to express that there is an instrument, the French horn, and there is a musician, James Sommerville. The orchestra is only strings, to express color through densities, like in Rembrandt’s etchings.

Composing this piece for the Tanglewood Music Center’s 75th Anniversary has a deep musical and personal meaning for me. I am grateful to this place and to the vision of its founders and its stewards.


Seiji Ozawa Hall, Lenox, MA
July 13, 2015
Premier Performance
by James Sommerville, french horn; the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra; Stefan Asbury, conductor
Joe Fitzgerald