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There is a return to tumult and strife. The theme of dissension is developed at length, and the horns intone the Friar Laurence motive. The strife theme at last dominates in fortissimo until there is a return to the mysterious music of the chamber scene (oboes and clarinets, with murmurings of violins, and horns). The song grows more and more passionate until Romeo's love theme breaks out, this time in D major, and is combined with the strife theme and the motive of Friar Laurence in development. A tremendous burst of orchestral fury, and there is a descent to the depths, until 'cellos, basses, bassoons, alone are heard; they die on low F-sharp with roll of kettledrums. Then silence.
Moderato assai, B minor, 4-4. Drum-beats, double-basses, pizz., and Romeo's song arises in lamentation. Soft chords (wood-wind and horns) bring the end.
The overture-fantasia, “Romeo and Juliet,” has been performed in Boston at concerts of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, February 8, 1890, February 21, 1891, April 1, 1893, April 4, 1896, January 28, 1899, March 14, 1903, April 28, 1906, April 13, 1907, March II, 1911, December 2, 1911. It was played by the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Listemann conductor, November 16, 1890.
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“The subject matter of this symphonic poem is derived from the mythology of ancient Persia, a full account of which may be found in James Freeman Clarke's ‘Ten Great Religions.” “The followers of Zoroaster deified light and darkness as the gods of good and evil: Ormazd and Ahriman; or, in a larger sense, the constructive and destructive principles in the universe. “They are engaged in intermittent conflict which will, in time, terminate in the victory of Ormazd, and the purification of Ahriman and his victims, by the purging fire of Ormazd. “Ormazd controls the hosts of heaven, suns and stars, as his army of light; Ahriman the forces of darkness. “The work in question is based on this general idea. It is in one movement, in free form. In the beginning, Ormazd assembles the hosts of Heaven; vague trumpet calls are heard answering one another from afar. Gradually, all becomes more definite; the calls more clear and full, until a brilliant, martial passage pictures the passing of the hosts of light. “This fades away, and one hears the music of the blessed Fravashis, or the souls of the good, in praise of Ormazd. “Then from the deep pit of Duzahk come the gloomy moans of Ahriman and the lost souls. The musical material of this part has emotional and psychological significance. The section begins with a dark motive, allegro agitato, suggestive of the envy and surging hatred of Ahriman, “the backward thinker.' Three times this surges up, each time to a greater climax, until at last it breaks into the conflict, spirit
* Mr. Converse contributes these notes to the Programme Book.-P. H.
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ual rather than realistic, between Ahriman and Ormazd, in which the former is overcome and falls back into his dark abode. These episodes of gathering revolt are separated by motives suggestive of the hopeless longings and regrets of the lost souls, now sad moans of sorrow, now tender memories of past delights. All these ideas are tied together by a busy motive suggestive of the pernicious activity of Ahriman, a motive which becomes important in the Conflict episode, where it is used in conjunction with, or rather in opposition to, the martial motive of Ormazd, from the first section. “Ormazd conquers and from above is heard the rejoicing of the hosts of Light, also the song of the blessed Fravashis in praise of Ormazd.” Mr. Converse has not written “Oriental” music. “The musical idiom is entirely modern. The poetic idea appealed to me purely on account of its richly decorative and picturesque expression of elemental truths: as potent for us to-day in America as they were for the ancient followers of Zoroaster. There are no doubt an Ormazd and an Ahriman within each one of us, and so my work may have subjective emotional significance, as well as decorative and imaginative qualities.” Mr. Converse composed this symphonic poem in the summer of 1911. The work is scored for three flutes (one interchangeable with piccolo), two oboes, one English horn, two clarinets, one bass clarinet, two bassoons, one double-bassoon, six horns, three trumpets, three trombones, one bass tuba, three kettledrums, one bass drum, cymbals, tam-tam, celesta, Glockenspiel, harp, piano, and the usual strings. The first performances of “Ormazd'' were by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Max Zach, conductor, in the Odeon, St. Louis, January 26 and 27, 1912. The first performance in Boston was at a concert of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, February 10, 1912.
>k :k :: ORMAZD. (Rendered after the Bundehesch of the ancient Persians by Percy Mackaye.)
On the far mountain Albordj, in the realm of primal light, is the abode of Ormazd.
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Beyond the spheres of high heaven he created his shining hosts: the Sun, his giant runner, who never dies; the Moon, who girdles the earth; and the Planets, his splendid captains. Such-like as the hairs upon a titan's head were the unnumbered stars on the ramparts of Ormazd. Seven were his splendid captains. Beyond the spheres of high heaven marshalled he them. In the realm of Gorodman, the dwelling of the blessed Fravashis, the circling of worlds in their spheres was like to immortal music. Below the bright bridge Chinevat, in the bowels of darkness, is the abode of Ahriman. . Deep in abysmal Duzahk he created his terrible numbers—for every creature of light a Daeva of gloom. Like the death-pang of the primal Bull was the moaning of Ahriman—his loathing for Ormazd. Twice on huge wings, above abysmal Duzahk, he fluttered up toward Albordj; twice fell he back. Beyond his bleak pit of doom beautiful rose the peak of Albordj; in the bowels of darkness, like fire were the dreams of the damned. A third time, then, Ahriman uprose; around him he marshalled his hordes—cold stars and wandering comets, the kings of chaos. Glittered against them the ranks of Ormazd. Dazzling and dark was the conflict. For ninety nights the smoke of stars obscured them; till back in to abysmal Duzahk fell Ahriman, defeated. Golden, then, was the laughter of Ormazd. Like laughter, the gold-haired Planets rattled their shields. In the realm of Gorodman, the dwelling of the blessed Fravashis, the circling of worlds in their spheres was like to immortal music.
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