Bold Island Suite, Op. 46

Howard Hanson

Publisher: Eastman School of Music
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

Bold Island lives up to its name, jutting up from the sea to a height of 100 feet, with the rocky shoreline characteristic of Maine but covered with virgin pine.

The first movement (Birds of the Sea) represents my reaction to the sounds of the island and of the sea. The second movement (Summer Seascape) attempts to convey the mood of a bright, warm day with the sun dancing on the waters. In the center of the movement, a very small squall blows up, but it is an innocent little storm that soon passes and leaves the ocean calm and serene. The final movement (God in Nature) is based on a hymn I had recently written to the fourth-century poem of Ambrose of Milan:

To Thee our morning song of praise
To Thee our evening prayer we raise
Thy glory suppliant we adore
Forever and forever more

It begins in a modified passacaglia form and the hymn appears in its complete form in the brass. A second, more turbulent section follows in which the sea sings its song of praise: Gloria in excelsis Deo. The birds of the sea join the hymn of praise, and with a final variant of the hymn the movement ends.

Available on Rental

Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by the Cleveland Orchestra.
Composition Date 1961
Duration 00:28:00
Orchestration 4(Picc.) 3 2 2 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno.(or Cel.) Hp. Str.


I Birds of the Sea
II Summer Seascape
III God in Nature