The recordings below are from a live performance, therefore not the best quality due to background noise.
Please check out the CD Darkest Hour for the studio quality professional recordings.
4/3/0033 is the date scientists have traced back for the date of the Christ’s Crucifixion. Since this was my thirty-third composition, I decided to use the number “3” as the basis of the piece. The 3 measure theme is in ¾ time and is based off of 3 notes. Also the piece begins and ends in E-flat major which uses three flats in the key signature. The piece is about the events that took place during the hours between the third and ninth hours that the crucifixion took place.
The 9th hour is the same as 3 p.m. (three hours to evening---For example, the 12th hour would be the last hour of the day---about 6 p.m.) and there to be darkness at 3 o’clock. Besides the fact that it had been four days to the hour since the voice came to Cornelius, it was also the same hour that Christ died on the cross. The veil was rent---the Old Covenant had passed away, and now, here, Peter is being reminded of the full liberation of the Sons of God under this New Covenant. I think the fact that 3 p.m. was highlighted twice in the story of Acts 10, that therefore, Peter would have looked for why 3 p.m., and would have easily have had his mind led by the Spirit to the 3 p.m. of the cross. Moreover, Cornelius was a centurion; recall the other centurion at the foot of the cross---at 3 p.m. ("9th hour") when Christ died---He said, "Surely this was the Son of God." This scene was a forerunner of Acts 10 when the Gentiles begin to stream into the Church.
"And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.
36 And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.
37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God." (Mark 15)
The death of the Son of God and Son of Man was of such a magnitude that the hand of God shook the earth in Divine judgment. The separation of Jesus’ Spirit and Body - the most awful event in the history of history - was accompanied by a heaving of the land. God the Father, Who had forsaken His only-begotten Son until all was finished ... until all these things had been accomplished ... heard the prayer of His Son and was with Him at the moment of death, receiving Him into His hands. And the earth quaked, and the rocks were split. This presence of God caused the earth to quake and the rocks to split. Thus do the enemies of God tremble in servile fear at this visitation of the Judge. Thus do the children of the Lord tremble in godly fear in the wake of Jesus being taken into Paradise by His Father. The music concludes with several instances of the music separating from itself to represent this event.
The piece also references to the Dies Irae in multiple applications. Dies Irae is translated as “Day of Wrath” and is based upon Zep 1:14-16, a reflection upon the final judgment. It was formerly part of the Mass of the Dead and the Office of the Dead. Today it is found in the Liturgia Horarum for the last week of Ordinary time (34th). In placing it there, the emphasis is upon the upcoming Advent season and the Second Coming of Christ. In Diocese of the United States, it is still used in the Office of the Dead and the Feast of All Souls (Nov. 2).
The piece is in a modified sonata form, which is another representation of the n number 3 as there are three parts to the form. The ending although fast and violent concludes with an E-flat chord heard in the beginning to symbolize Christ conquering death.
Tango is a musical genre with many different dance forms from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Uruguay, and spread across the world thereafter. A faster predecessor to the tango is known as the Milonga. It was a solo song that consisted of eight measures in 2/4. I use the same rhythm, but with a twist by putting the tango rhythm in odd time signatures such as 10/8, 7/16 and 18/16. It is a virtuosic piece, but one that is fun to play.
This is a chorale written for marimba to exploit to beautiful sonorities of the instrument. The piece was written with the idea of ever-changing moments to depict the idea of the seasons changing. There are times when rolls are used which expresses warm, lush sounds interchanged with moments without rolls in a rubato feel.
The piece is dedicated to my wife Autumn for our 1st Anniversary.
The work was inspired by the famous Dylan Thomas poem, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. The poem conveys two very powerful and very different moods: one of sorrow and deep remorse and the other of aggression and anger. Thus a piece in two movements evolved depicting these contrasting emotions.The first movement is a chorale painting the sadness expressed in the poem of Thomas' father's impending death. It is written in a romantic style and moves between the keys of C and B-flat major.
Movement two is an energetic allegro depicting the intensity of the poet's emotions as h begs his father to fight against death. It develops motivically through the use of perfect 5ths and major 6ths separated by minor 2nds and augmented 4ths. It is in sonata form and concludes the work with the coda from the first movement.
The Offering, was also initially a short solo piece written with no intention of using it in the Burritt’s Concerto. After having performed the work on several concerts, however, he began to envision it becoming the catalyst for the slow movement. No matter how many times he explored other thematic possibilities Burritt continually returned to The Offering as the material that worked best in following the virtuosity and density of the Scirocco movement. The marimba writing is primarily homophonic in texture and captures an ‘organ like’ quality. The middle section of the movement is a moderate dance variation that foreshadows the harmonic language heard in the third movement. The Offering was written in December 2001 as a dedication to Burritt’s grandparents, Clayton and Arres Burritt.
This performance took place November 3rd, 2009. It is a live recording from my concert so there are some errors due to a variety of factors that occurred during the performance. The new CD is a much improved recording.
"Music is a higher revelation than philosophy."
-Ludwig van Beethoven