MICHAEL WOLTERS Spring Symphony: The Joy of Life (2002)

Michael Wolters Spring Symphony: The Joy of Life (2002) [16"]

Programme Note

Movement 1
Sometimes in springtime you really do have a feeling of joy because the weather's better and you know that summer's coming but this feeling doesn't necessarily last very long as the nice weather doesn't change the fact that you just have to keep doing the things in your life that you always do. The only lasting difference springtime seems to make is that it's harder to concentrate on the things you have to do because you constantly have the feeling of missing out and being cheated out of a feeling of joy which should be yours by right. And then you get the feeling that the spring is demanding a response from you that you just can't deliver and so you end up feeling guilty about just carrying on with life and not doing something to exploit the sunshine because sunshine is something that should be enjoyed.

Movement 2
I suppose I do like it when the swifts come back in the spring and start flying about. I think the way they fly is beautiful and there's also so many of them all of a sudden that it almost seems like overindulgence. What I'm not sure of though is if I just like them for themselves or if I like them because they're a sign that spring is here. It could be that I'd like them just as much if their arrival happened to coincide with the onset of winter. Mind you I do like sitting on my balcony in the evenings and watching them which I wouldn't be able to do if the weather was cold.

Movement 3
Of course there's an inbuilt melancholy that goes with the onset of spring because every time you catch yourself feeling pleased that it's here you inevitably start to feel sad as you know it's all going to be too short and before you know it it's going to be winter again. Growth means decay and all that. Fruit ripens and then it rots. Leaves go green and then they turn brown, fall off the trees and turn to mulch.

Movement 4
The thing you always think of in connection with spring is the trees getting their leaves (now would be a good time to mention that this work is part of a northern European tradition and the particular conditions of springtime that are found in northern Europe). Trees getting leaves is definitely a sign of new growth but it's not as if when they lose their leaves in autumn it means that they're dying. In that sense it's hard to see any particular significance in springtime in terms of a reaffirmation of life because it's not as if we believe in the winter that life has come to an end and so the trees getting their leaves again brings a sense of relief that it's carrying on after all. Trees becoming green is something that we've all experienced before and something that we expect and although the world is fickle and there's no end of natural disasters the trees still always get their leaves in spring.
Lucy Harvey

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