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Suddenly it’s October, my birth month, and there’s a bite in the air and a decidedly more severe angle to the sunlight, as if it’s beginning to ration itself, as opposed to its June - August profligacy.

In its honor, here’s one of the most gorgeous pieces I’ve ever played, Eric Whitacre’s October for concert band.¬† This recording is from the 2013 LGBA (Lesbian Gay Band Association) concert that Betsy and I traveled to Atlanta to participate in.

It’s a tone poem, and ingeniously imparts the possibility of warm, brilliant days in October, while constantly reminding that it’s a month of inexorable attrition, decay and loss, as its mood swings from¬† brilliant brass to minor-key woodwinds.

October - Eric Whitacre:


  1. A beautiful piece of music to begin the month of October. Yes, it is the month of attrition, decay and loss, and as you say also the month of brilliance. That light before the dimming darkness. This music captures it so well. Lovely.

  2. Phil:

    Thanks, Robin! I should clean up this comments section. I’m also about 5 years out of date with Wordpress upgrades (I host this myself, didn’t want to go through another Salon-style shutdown experience).

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