The first movement of Three Winter Scenes, a suite for orchestra. Originally based on a poem I wrote in my twenties called Winter Sunset. Then I decided to make it about the solstice as well. Thus, the beginning, while based on the cadences of the poem, is more about the slow ticking down of time to the moment of the solstice, signified by a pause. The word “solstice” means “the sun pauses,” as it reaches its southernmost point in the sky, after which it slowly starts back northward, on its way to the vernal equinox, and Spring. After the pause, the music becomes less mechanical and more emotional, as the subject matter of the poem is portrayed. The poem was about watching a beautiful sunset on a cold winter day, and wondering where my life was going (which was basically nowhere at the time). The sky was a rapidly changing kaleidoscope of color, with snow squalls and racing clouds. But racing where? I had no idea. So the clouds were a metaphor for my life. The unexpected beauty of this event soon passed, followed by swiftly falling darkness. But it made a lasting impression, and I came back to it for inspiration in this piece.

Copyright 2000 by Michael Diemer