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Composers have for centuries been fascinated with making the attempt to capture the indescribable beauty of the sunrise in sound. I’m unaware of a vocabulary that exists in any language - not even the purely abstract language of music - that can even come close to capturing the majesty and raw power of the birth of a new morning, and yet artists much more able than I have set pen to paper to do just that over the course of many centuries; Haydn, Richard Strauss, Debussy, Respighi, and Sibelius are just a few of the most notable names.

Fairest Morning was commissioned by David and Natalie Romines in loving memory of their three infant children - Mary, David, and Elizabeth - whose lives are represented by the oboe, flute, and clarinet solos that intertwine midway through the work. The piece as a whole is my impression of what a sunrise is not only in the natural sense but also in the spiritual. Sometimes the colors are dull and undefined, other times bright with each ray clearly distinguishable, and then ultimately overwhelming in power and intensity before giving way finally to the gentle morning and the day that is to come.


Patrick J. Burns

November 2021


Fairest Morning by Patrick J. Burns (Grade 5, 6:15) Printed Score and Parts

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