Jessica Hunt

Climb

$75.00

Duration:

Instrumentation: Orchestra

Delivery Method: Physical Delivery
Performance Materials: Full Score

Climb is a letter-through-time to Beethoven to express my gratitude for his work, and to express our silent kinship. The work centers on D (the key area of Beethoven’s second symphony), and attempts to travel to Eb (the key area of his third). This small half-step is rendered infinitely large as the gravity of D keeps pulling the orchestra back into its orbit. Partly autobiographical, Climb explores aural metaphors for the physical sensations that are part of my daily life with dysautonomia. The piece opens with a frantic burst of adrenaline that soon gives way to the sensation of stomach-dropping nausea and tinnitus. A weak heartbeat emerges, racing, unsteady. Punctuated by brassy flashes of pain, the orchestra-body steels itself with determination, even optimism, before a violent attack of palpitations shatters its progress, melting into melodrama and mourning for a wellness and a wholeness that will never come again. In a cruel irony, the goal of Eb is never quite reached; the immutable D instead becomes re-contextualized as a leading tone that is, for all its efforts, unable to resolve.

The title is chosen to represent the challenge of living with any invisible illness or obstacle: some of us cannot simply walk up a flight of stairs, instead, we must climb.

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117-005-FS
Delivery Method: Physical Delivery
Performance Materials: Full Score

About the Work

Instrumentation: Orchestra

Commissioned by: Philadelphia Orchestra

Climb was commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra for their 2019-2020 season honoring Beethoven’s 250th birthday by performing his symphonies in dialogue with music by composers of today. Between composing his second and third symphonies, Beethoven wrote his Heilegenstadt Testament, a vividly compelling autobiographical account of his secret physical and psychological torment as he struggled with the deterioration of his health and hearing. The first time I read that document, Beethoven’s isolation, his fear, and diminishing hope leapt off the page and pierced my heart. I recognized those fears, that anguish; they resonate deeply within my own chronically ill body. Climb is a letter-through-time to Beethoven to express my gratitude for his work, and to express our silent kinship. The work centers on D (the key area of Beethoven’s second symphony), and attempts to travel to Eb (the key area of his third). This small half-step is rendered infinitely large as the gravity of D keeps pulling the orchestra back into its orbit. Partly autobiographical, Climb explores aural metaphors for the physical sensations that are part of my daily life with dysautonomia. The piece opens with a frantic burst of adrenaline that soon gives way to the sensation of stomach-dropping nausea and tinnitus. A weak heartbeat emerges, racing, unsteady. Punctuated by brassy flashes of pain, the orchestra-body steels itself with determination, even optimism, before a violent attack of palpitations shatters its progress, melting into melodrama and mourning for a wellness and a wholeness that will never come again. In a cruel irony, the goal of Eb is never quite reached; the immutable D instead becomes re-contextualized as a leading tone that is, for all its efforts, unable to resolve. The title is chosen to represent the challenge of living with any invisible illness or obstacle: some of us cannot simply walk up a flight of stairs, instead, we must climb.

Pages: 35