We have all experienced intense emotional pain in our lives. Be it from the loss of a loved one, a relationship’s painful end, or something as profound as 9/11, we have all had those experiences which, in the end, help to define who we are. Regardless of what they are, we search for comfort from our pain and, sometimes, reasons appear which help us understand why such an event had to take place. In Autumn, Rilke comforts us (and perhaps himself) with the thought that, amidst all our pain, we are held in the hand of God “with infinite softness”—a touch so soothing it never ends.
Autumn was commissioned by the Choral Arts Ensemble Commissioning Club in honor of Bob and Kristi Giere for their generous and sensitive stewardship. It was premiered May 1, 2004 by the Choral Arts Ensemble under guest conductor Dale Warland.
This piece is one of four a cappella works which uses the seasons as its inspiration. They can be performed starting on any of the movements as long as the cycle progresses in the cyclical order of the seasons.