The Winter Mountain (2015)
I. First Flurries
II. Soft Snowfall
III. Deep Crevasse With Foxfire
IV. The Frozen Waterfall
V. The Snow-Clad Summit
available from Vanderbilt Music Company
duration ca. 15:00
Having completed The Autumnal Mountain near the end of 2014, I found myself with some unused musical ideas that I wanted to develop rather than discard. I was reluctant to start a sort of mountainous Four Seasons—after all, who can surpass Vivaldi, even if from a mountaintop?—but the desire to work out those remaining ideas was too strong to not write one sequel. There was further compositional cross-fertilization, in that much of the material from the first movement, First Flurries, was originally composed for the Toccata from Triptych I but never used—in fact the Toccata was originally planned for harp.
The Winter Mountain is first revealed in a light dusting of snow—like individual snowflakes dancing in the wind, each musical pattern is similar but unique. The beauty of a mountain village covered in white appears in the distance. Foxfire—luminescent fungi—shines in the darkness of a mountainous crevasse as the weather turns cold, and light glistens off the crystalline icicles of a frozen waterfall. Finally our eyes turn to the stark and severe beauty of the stony mountaintop clad in snow.
The Winter Mountain was premiered by Michelle Abbott on the concert Multiple Worlds: the Music of Christopher Coleman, April 19. 2015, at Hong Kong Baptist University's Academic Community Hall.