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Dreams of Flight

Andrew Webb-Mitchell on December 24, 2012 14:43

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Hui Jin (tenor), Elizabeth Bailey (soprano), Brno Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Mikel Toms.

Music by Andrew Webb-Mitchell
Words by Joanna Boulter

“In Songs of Awe and Wonder, Andrew Webb-Mitchell has created a stunning set of symphonic songs on a grand scale. The music is full of passion and heroism, with glorious harmony and beautiful textures. The orchestration is beautifully detailed and the vocal writing creates a soaring line that carries the listener right through the vast canvas of the cycle. The work is dedicated to Mahler but, although the scale of the work is comparable to a Mahlerian song cycle, the music is in no way derivative and Andrew Webb-Mitchell has his own unique style and sound-world.”

Tasmin Little, violinist

Dreams of Flight is set in Kitty Hawk on a cold December morning in 1903. The Wright brothers are hard at work with final preparations to make the world’s first controlled powered flight. They briefly reflect on the immensity of the task they face but are now willing to throw caution to the wind. As they start the engine, the propellers begin to rotate; movement begins to wake in The Flyer, longing for wind in its wings.

The first flight was made by Orville and lasted only 12 seconds, during which the airplane flew 120 feet. That same day, however, on its fourth flight, with Wilbur at the controls, the plane stayed in the air for 59 seconds and traveled 852 feet before a severe gust of wind severely damaged the craft.

The Wright Brothers helped found modern aviation through their curiosity, their inventiveness, and their unwillingness to give up their vision.

We were young when we began to look up.
We’d ask ourselves whether we’d rise to the heights.
All along we knew we could conquer the skies,
All along we knew what was at stake.
Our dream of flight must challenge us now to throw caution to the winds.
It’s time to see if our courage will hold.

The tense winter air is holding its breath.

Blades rotate, dance and spin.
Drama mounts as movement begins to wake in The Flyer,
now tugging at the rope for its freedom,
longing for wind in its wings!

Tension uplifts us tossed by cold winds gusting to and fro.
Fear and elation buoy us up then bring us back to earth.

Years of work hindered by sceptical minds
tested our resolve time and again.

We were forced to widen the frontiers of innovation.

But now no one can take this away from us
we were first to be there with the birds in the air

The endless line of the horizon lies before us
reminding us our work is just beginning.
A new age has begun.
This is not a time to be discouraged,
We must be undaunted in our purpose and resolve.
Earth and sky lie in wait.
The unreachable heavens elude us no longer.
The eternal cerulean is drawing us closer.

Higher and still higher, further with God speed,
we will follow our vision and hold fast to our fate
as the world looks on.

Released by: First Creative
Release/catalogue number: FCLCD004
Release date: Sep 20, 2013
ISRC: GB-THM-13-00006


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