2016 – for orchestra (1111 / 1110 / timp / str) – 5:30
Inspired by the following poem excerpt:
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; – John Keats
- A Thing of Beauty (midi demo) 05:27
World Premiere: May 7, 2016, Milton, Canada
Milton Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Sabatino Vacca)
Oct 21, 2023, Centre for the Arts, Pembroke, Ontario
Pembroke Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Thomas Annand)
Nov 12, 2023, Parkdale United Church, Ottawa
Parkdale Orchestra (conducted by John Kraus)
When the Milton Philharmonic Orchestra requested that I compose a short piece to be included as part of their “A Night at the Proms” concert, my immediate concern was how am I going to compose something that would complement the patriotic and the overtly romantic/expressive British repertoire so synonymous with the famed “Last Night of the Proms” concerts? After all, I don’t have an ounce of British ethnicity in me. And, while I like to think of my musical voice as being accessible to a wider listening public, I am still a modern-day composer who likes to put a unique personal stamp on all my compositions. Furthermore, my political leanings don’t exactly lend themselves well to composing a blatantly patriotic piece of music.
After further research, I found that the annual “Last Night of the Proms” concert usually also feature repertoire that touches the soul and the heart. And so I explored the simple yet profound feeling of love. I took inspiration from the first phrases of the Keats poem (above) and the piece just literally wrote itself! Nothing evokes beauty, loveliness and enduring passion better than the sound of an orchestra. So many beautiful sonorities. Contemporary composers too often only explore serious themes in their music. Well, I say we need more love, not only in my musical world but throughout the world as well.
– Frank Horvat
Commissioned by the Milton Philharmonic Orchestra. Many thanks to Maestro John Kraus from his orchestration input.