Lucas’s Garden

clarinet (b-flat), violin, cello, piano
1. Backyard Paradise
2. Moonlit
3. Wild Roses

Sheet music available upon request from the composer.

Program Notes

Like much of my music, Lucas’s Garden, for clarinet, violin, cello and piano, was inspired by personal experience. My son, Lucas, an avid botanist, asked for free- range for a section of our New Jersey backyard to indulge his passion for growing things. The three-movement piece is about the inner world of my family as it grows and evolves, told through the lens of my son’s garden.

The first movement, Backyard Paradise, reflects on the beautiful wildflower haven that Lucas created with its abundance of native plants and wildlife. The second movement, Moonlit, is a nocturnal, dream-like fantasy, combining quirky gestures with exotic and jazz-influenced melodic lines. The third and final movement, Wild Roses, enriches the garden with its thorny beauty, full of marcato gestures and changing meters. At the climax of the movement, the main melody from Backyard Paradise reemerges triumphantly through the thorns. A hint of the second movement’s moonlit dream-world mischievously reappears, before the wild roses race back in for the final coda.

Lucas’s Garden was originally commissioned in 2018 by the Vandoren Company
for their Emerging Artist Competition. Ever the restless composer, I had long wanted to make substantial revisions to this earlier version of the work- first called Inner Latitudes.

In 2021, the New World Symphony commissioned me to re-imagine
the work for pianist Thomas Steigerwald. The second movement- my favorite part of the initial work- became the new first movement. I extensively revised the middle movement, and I wrote a new third movement from scratch. The concept of Lucas’s Garden finally unlocked the musical and programmatic solutions for me of how to conceptualize the piece in a way that felt complete.

Lucas’s Garden is dedicated to my family- Micah, Lucas and Sydney.

©2021 Copyright - Amanda Harberg