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Matthew H. Fields
Matthew H. Fields
Composer
Selected Orchestral Works
 

Hubble Space
Telescope Views

Listen

Audio link Listen to the piece now: click here for MP3 audio. This performance was digitally realized by Dennis Bathory-Kitsz of Maltedmedia.com.

Duration

10:35

Program Note

"Certain mountain and canyon vistas, when we see them, permanently change our perspective and make us appreciate anew the fragility and urgency of life. Modern astronomy does this on a whole different scale. Through the Hubble Space Telescope, glowing gassy nebulas reveal intricate structures, bow-shock waves many times bigger than the whole solar system, regions where new stars are being born. Further out, the Andromeda Galaxy looks like a vast whirlpool of stars and dust which takes millions of years to complete a single rotation. More distant galaxies have already collided with each other, strewing tails of dust, gas, and billions of stars streaming across space as each is disrupted by the other's gravity--formations which have looked the same for all of human history, testimony to collisions unimaginably ancient, and others unimaginably distant in the future. Point the telescope at a seemingly blank patch of sky for a week, hoping for signals which, if they exist, are too faint to be perceived any other way--and it reveals millions of new, previously unknown distant galaxies, the nearer spirals shining brightly, the more distant ones burning a faint red. We stand in awe, and tightly hold each other's hands."

--Matthew H. Fields

Instrumentation

  • piccolo
  • 2 flutes
  • 2 oboes
  • English horn
  • 2 clarinets
  • bass clarinet
  • 2 bassoons
  • contrabassoon
  • 4 horns
  • 3 trumpets
  • 2 trombones
  • bass trombone
  • tuba
  • timpani
  • 3 percussionists
    • Player 1
      • crotales
      • 3 tomtoms
      • triangle
      • bell tree
      • tamtam
    • Player 2
      • vibraphone
      • xylophone
      • tubular bells
    • Player 3
      • crash cymbals
      • suspended cymbal
      • snare drum
      • pitched almglocken
  • harp
  • large string ensemble (e.g. 15/14/12/10/6)

Year of Composition

2004. Revised somewhat in 2006 after a reading by Minnesota Orchestra.

Score

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