NOTES ON “THREE SCENES IN MERCER COUNTY”
The nine minute tryptych celebrates the 125th anniversary of the Blawenburg Band, Jerry Rife, conductor. Movements I & II were originally composed and performed in 1997 & 1998, though in fairly rudimentary form. They were thoroughly rescored in 2015 and joined to the errant third movement, which had been living a secret life as a jazz tune in small combos since 2001. The composer has made homes in Hopewell and Lawrenceville since the 90s, while Ewing is the home of the conductor since the 80s.
I. Love in Lawrenceville (2015 revision) — The current scoring casts the movement as a serious romance, with high feeling but refined passion, per Jane Austin.
I considered the Andante movement from Mozart’s Piano Concerto 21 (used as the theme in 1967’s Elvira Madigan), albeit from a Hollywood musical perspective.
II. Hopewell-egance — The movement celebrates the neighborly atmosphere of Hopewell
borough, where lives carry on fairly calmly, and any manner of public drama resolves
in an orderly and civilized fashion (eventually).
III. Ewing, the Night and the Music — A thoroughly romantic re-casting of Ewing as a
locale of adventure and intrigue: sinuous and simmering, pulsating and provocative.
Whether true once, now or someday is beside the point – it’s fun program music!
—Philip Orr, March 2015
THREE SCENES IN MERCER COUNTY will be premiered Sunday May 17, 2015 @ 3 PM at Hopewell Regional High School, 259 Pennington Titusville Rd, Pennington, NJ 08534-1617. Admission is free.