. . .that heaven's vault should crack. . . (1996-7)

The most personal of my works, this orchestral score was the first work written after my sister Stefanie lost her battle with cancer in the summer of 1996. The title is taken from the final scene of Shakespeare's "King Lear", in which the title character holds his lifeless daughter, Cordelia, in his arms:

Howl, Howl, Howl, Howl!
(to Edgar and Kent) O, you are men of stones:
Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so
That heaven's vault should crack. - She's gone forever!

and later:

Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life
And thou no breath at all? Thou'lt come no more,
Never, never, never, never, never. . .

However, my musical memorium is not at all a dirge or a funeral march. Rather, the music captures a bit of Stef's joyous personality, her energy (which was limitless), her ability to inspire the best in others. The music is mostly rapid, almost running ahead. Toward the middle of the piece 2 percussionists simulate windchimes on a breezy day; a sound that always reminds me of her. The end is quiet, with shooting stars in the harp and strings.

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