(1997) for string orchestra
duration: 6 minutes
premiere: string from the Louisville Orchestra at the Music at Maple Mount Festival, David Dzubay (cond.), June 10, 1990
live audio (in a tent during a rainstorm!):
Commissioned by the Music at Maple Mount Festival
Tantalus was a legendary king of Lydia condemned to stand up to his chin in a pool of water in Hades beneath fruit-laden boughs only to have the water or fruit recede at each attempt to drink or eat. While not specifically programmatic, Tantalus depicts the increasingly exasperated and frustrated emotional state which could arise from such a situation where the object of ones desires is at arms reach, yet untouchable. The character of the composition is one of constrained energy bursting at the seams, always striving to reach a little bit farther.