TO THE LIGHT, for chamber orchestra | Scottish Chamber Orchestra / Joseph Swensen | 2017 by Tom Harrold published on 2017-11-28T23:05:08Z Premiere performance Scottish Chamber Orchestra | Joseph Swensen (cond.) Ayr Town Hall 22nd November 2017 This recording Scottish Chamber Orchestra | Joseph Swensen (cond.) Glasgow City Halls 24th November 2017 Harrold’s writing is precise and clean-textured, yet he imbues the work with a dazzling warmth and emotive density." Ken Walton, The Scotsman "To the Light may turn out to be a very significant piece in spreading his reputation. Responding with discipline to the chamber orchestra challenge, he has produced a work that makes maximum use of the more limited instrumental palette..." Keith Bruce, The Herald "The strong, angular central section seemed to lay bare something dark in the soul...Harrold’s piece was striking and memorable, and he’s definitely a voice that I’d like to hear again." Seen and Heard International To the Light is, in its most basic of forms, a movement from darkness to light which surges through an arch-form structure. The music exists as one continuous movement, but can be divided into three distinct sections: a quiet, restrained opening within which a baleful, wistful solo cello wails above dark string chords; a potent, insistent middle where the brass vie for supremacy against the strings; and a return to the yearning material found in the opening, but only this time the music has in many ways been distilled, or damaged, by the energised middle section that preceded it. The descending trio of chords heard at the opening of To the Light underpin the entire body of harmonic material found within the piece. This harmonic sound-world, which infects the whole work, was created by utilising rotations and extensions of these chords. These various iterations also led to the construction of the melodic material, which is dominated by minor sixths and thirds. The energised middle section is essentially a collage of musical moments which are hung together by these chordal progressions and melodic ideas. These series of moments lead breathlessly to the climax of the piece: a cleansing arrival into Db minor which quickly dissipates. To the Light was commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with funding from the PRS for Music Foundation, Cruden Foundation, and RVW Trust. It is dedicated to my grandfather, Alexander Scott, who died in 2016.