Suite for the Prairies 

Suite for the Prairies (for Symphony Orchestra) – 2021

Composed by Andrew Kesler

Kesler shares the following thoughts on his composition:
My career has provided me many unique and wonderful opportunities to travel and witness the natural splendor in many parts of the world. However, nothing compares to the beauty of my home province of Saskatchewan. There is a spirit in both the land and its people that resonates with me deeply, and I recently experienced that firsthand during the pandemic when I moved back to Saskatoon temporarily to be with family. Upon arrival back to Canada I spent my fourteen-day quarantine in the family cabin at Fur Lake where I was completely disconnected from the manic Hollywood music industry that had become my norm, and instead exposed to the vast nature where I spent much of my youth. It was this sudden change in perspective and environment that planted the musical seeds that would eventually turn into this piece. A later trip to the Western Development Museum sparked my interest in re-learning the history of this province and specifically the challenges of the homesteaders and pioneers who decided to settle here. 
This composition was written in the pastoral orchestral style established by composers Aaron Copland and Bruce Broughton, and my goal is to take the listener through a conceptual “year on the prairies”. There are two main musical themes throughout the piece: the first being a broad yet simple melody that characterizes both the majesty of the landscape and the warmth that the feeling of “home” evokes. The second is a jaunty tune that represents the hustle and bustle of the animals and people who inhabit the land to show that, while sparse, our home is one full of activity. These themes are then manipulated throughout to add momentum and drama; perhaps a thunderstorm causes disruption, or the biting chill of winter sets in. The narrative is yours to create, let the music provide the setting.
My sincere gratitude to the SSO for premiering this composition. For many reasons, it feels appropriate that its debut should take place in the land that inspired it.

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