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Alex Knutrud: Cathedral of Dreams for Trombone Octet

Alex Knutrud: Cathedral of Dreams for Trombone Octet

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From the composer: My grandfather, E. Crawley Cooper (1933-2014), was an architect of some notoriety, as well as a lover of classical music. From 2012-2013, I lived with my grandfather and spent lots of time talking with him about his life and his work. He had taken up a fascination with Debussy's 'La cathédrale engloutie' and asked me if I would be able to arrange it for full orchestra, two harps, and two pianos. He thought this combination would be interesting. I told him I'd see to it at some point. In 2014, when he passed, I remember reminiscing on how I had always wished I'd made time for the arrangement.

Cathedral of Dreams is a letter of admiration to my grandfather. Much like Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an exhibition', the work describes the experience of walking through a large cathedral, conceived in a way I'd imagine my grandfather would have designed it. Each segment of the piece transitions abruptly as the listener walks into constantly changing landscapes of different rooms within the cathedral. The entire work is based on a passacaglia theme which is present in the beginning and end of the work, as well as littered throughout. Written for the Boston Trombone Octet (Kevin Dugat, Chris Routh, Anthony Cosio-Marron, Kevin Virgilio, Spencer Hudson, Tommy Chiu, Collin Tyrrell, and Don Lucas), wherein each part is a soloist. (ATTTTTBB). Cover art by my mother.

Alex Knutrud, 2022.

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