Moving Heaven and Earth

Moving Heaven and Earth was commissioned by the Clark County School District Commissioning Project, Las Vegas, NV, USA and is dedicated to Bunny Wasserman and her Make Music Matter, Las Vegas foundation, in appreciation of her tireless work in support of music education. It was premiered in January 2012, conducted by Col. John R. Bourgeois.

The piece consists of a theme and 4 variations; although the theme is original it contains a phrase heavily influenced by a 14-bar passage from the Libera Me in Faur's Requiem. It is a sequence that the composer finds harmonically compelling and, although it is never quoted directly, it appears in altered form in the theme and each of the variations. In the original, the passage is set to the words: Quando cli movendi sunt et terra (When the heavens and the earth shall be moved) which gave inspiration for the title.

After the initial statement of the theme, Variation 1 features the upper woodwinds who play a stirring melody and accompany the Faur reference with florid arpeggios. Variation 2 spotlights the saxophones and lower woodwind in a rhythmic, modal waltz, whilst Variation 3 is a broad chorale for the brass and percussion.

Variation 4 starts with a fugue, which introduces each section of the band in turn before the original theme appears on the brass while the woodwind continue the fugal figuration.