“Twas a Dark and Stormy Night” was composed in the winter of 1987. The motivation was the opening line of a book that inspired the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, searching for equally “interesting” first sentences of a hypothetical novel. From this most evocative of beginnings, the composer felt the world was open for whatever impulse might follow. I was so excited by the idea that I decided to do the same thing with an equally simple and yet “open” motive. Thus the piece begins with the musical equivalent of “’twas a dark and stormy night.” The opening cadenza sets the stage, the harmonic language is introduced, and all at once, the imagination lets loose the adventure within.
This version for 1 or 2 horns and wind ensemble (or string orchestra) contains added material not present in the original edition for horn and organ.
[Note that the following excerpt is from the version with string orchestra, not wind ensemble.]