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A Musical Memorial Reflecting The Mournful Morning


Tiffany Alfonso

SEPTEMBER THE ELEVENTH has a threshold of connotations: The Day of Infamy After Pearl Harbor, The Day The World Stopped Turning, and in my terms, The Mournful Morning. Influenced by this infamous tragedy, I composed a symphonic work for organ and strings in which I aspired that it will be performed by a college string orchestra and a local church organist. It was the Fantasia, Fugue, and Chorale In D-Flat Minor that will paint a picture of The Mournful Morning's events.

In this work, the theme was a tune from the "Harmonischer Liederschatz" that was appropriately named "Franconia," written in 1738. Because of its majestic harmonies and it's like a chorale, it was my appropriate choice for this. In the fantasia and fugue, it was in a minor key, representing the agony and the fury of The Mournful Morning, but in the chorale, it was in its original major key,

In the fantasia, the music starts out like a choir singing in a funeral Mass, with the second violins having the melody. Then it sounds like a Bachian work paraphrased in my own harmonies. At the end, it slows down, evoking a prediction of what will happen next. It evokes images of the hijackers steering half of the planes involved towards the Twin Towers, while people jumped out of the building to escape it. Also, scenes of the Pentagon getting smacked by a plane and a plane crash in rural Pennsylvania burst out in listener's minds. To me, it was the most solemn remnant of the whole composition.

The fugue was a pretty energetic piece and it possesses a great deal of fury. The first violins play the melody, then it continue down the line until the cellos and organ play it almost in unison, with the bass playing its own line. The violins play the melody closely in unison, after a fugal section, then towards the end of this part the first violins play part of it an octave higher. The fugue paint images of the fall of the towers, the plunge of one of the Pentagon's walls, and President Bush taking action after a Secret Service agent heralded the dolorific news.

In the chorale, it was very much like the first eight bars of the fantasia, but it's a hair slower and in a major key. Afterwards, it closes with a cadenza that seemed like a sung amen at the end of a hymn. A sole representation of the aftermath, prayers and patriotism, it ended the piece in a resilient way.

In conclusion, I hoped this piece would be a musical and dignified memorial to the victims of The Mournful Morning and it would be performed on every other September eleventh on each year. May God continue to bless and protect America.

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