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A Grateful Tail

Composer: Mercurio, Steven

  • 91580100

Publication Type

Audio CD


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A Grateful Tail - Movement by Movement

"Siriusly," Dog Star
Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, has been used by travelers and navigators for thousands of years as a guiding star and so it is here as the opening movement for the symphony. Sirius, the cornerstone to the constellation Canis Maggiore or "Big Dog" sits at the foot of Orion, the hunter, leading the way. Highly cinematic, the movement evokes both a musical and visual sense of the mythological and mysterious elements of Sirius and its Dog Godstar secrets. From the clarion call of the opening, "Sirius" theme, the sound is buoyant and frisky emulating the nature of "doggy playtime." Puppy pleasures abound as a "doggy four-step," my turn on the traditional American two-step dance, is introduced. The movement transforms into an actual orchestrated frolic of small, large and medium dog "barks" beginning with the winds (smaller dogs) and ultimately, the "big dog," brass. The movement climaxes with the coda or, "Dog Park," where the winds and the brass "bark" and "play" together over the, "doggy ostinato four-step rhythm," culminating with the final call of the Sirius theme.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, Peacefully
It's all in a dog's day and life. Tranquility presides over this supremely gentle, intermezzo-like movement. After a day of play, every dog needs rest. "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie," is a lyrical andante inspired by the profound serenity and beauty of a dog at rest.

The Last Will and Testament of Silverdene Emblem O'Neill
Based on a powerful piece of prose written by the American playwright, Eugene O'Neill this text was intended as a consolation piece for Carlotta, his wife, who had become grief-stricken over the loss of their beloved dog, the Dalmatian known as "Blemie."Written for a singing actor who personifies the role of "Blemie," a dog at the end of his life, the movement plays like a one act, musical drama as we follow Blemie through a wonderfully three-dimensional, emotional and psychological journey writing his "Last Will and Testament," for those who have loved him.

Wagging the Tail: Ossia "Fido's Lament"
A life-affirming rumba/samba using Blemie's final words from O'Neill's text, this final movement employs the most unique American musical invention, the gospel choir. In order to make the dances come alive, this movement also calls upon the colors of a rhythm section. Creating the spirit of an Irish Funeral, the movement is a joyful and revival-like celebration of a dog's life as its spirit lives on forever in the hearts and minds of dog lovers everywhere.

"Remember Me, remember me! My spirit is wagging a grateful tail."

Published by: Subito Music Publishing
Release Date: July 9, 2013
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