This is the first time in a long time I’ve been in the states on Memorial Day. As a kid, Memorial Day meant we’d go to Greenfield Village for our favorite time of year there – Civil War Remembrance Days – full of reenactors we wished we were. I don’t give much thought to American holidays, but this year I kept thinking of a piece I wrote as a tribute to Stonewall Jackson.
2 1/2 years ago, I was reading R.L. Dabney’s book ‘The Life and Campaigns of Lieut. Gen. T.J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson’ and Dabney was using a verse from 2 Samuel to lament Jackson’s death. I’d been studying him in school as well, and wanted to write a piece as a tribute to his God-glorifying life and legacy.
My attention had also been drawn to various French Horn parts, mostly in soundtracks, that showed various emotions the French horn portrayed very well. The first day of Csehy I decided I could combine the two and this is what I ended up with!
Much of the format describes the story of the piece:
A section: Major, fast – depicting Jackson’s life and triumphant battles, in physical and spiritual warfare.
B section: Minor, yet still fast – depicting the pain and intensity of the fight for life after Jackson was shot.
C section: Minor, and slower – somber, reflective, yet slightly hopeful. Remembering Stonewall and mourning his death, but with hope and joy because in his death he was taken to the Father.
Short repeat of the intro
You can listen to it here. May it bless and encourage you, especially those who are mourning every day those we remember on Memorial Day.
“The minstrel boy will return we pray,
Torn perhaps in body, not in spirit –
The minstrel boy will return one day,
When we hear the news we all will cheer it –
Then he will play on his harp in peace,
In a world such as heaven intended,
For all the bitterness of men must cease,
And ev’ry battle must be ended.”