had a great fall

Instrumentation: 2223 4230 timp+2 str
Purchase: Contact composer directly
Duration:  3:30
Story:  Written for the Berkshire Symphony in 2007.

"Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses,
And all the king's men,
Couldn't put Humpty together again."
 
One of the many theories about the genesis of this poem is that Humpty-Dumpty was not a lovable, bumbling egg, but was in fact a cannon.  In the summer of 1648, during the height of the English Civil War, a fierce battle raged in the town of Colchester between the royalists and the roundheads.  The church in that town, St. Mary’s at the Wall, had a very tall church tower on which rested a royalist cannon: Humpty-Dumpty.  The roundheads laid siege to Colchester for eleven weeks, and finally managed to knock down the church tower, sending the cannon which had been devastating their forces to the ground below.  While the royalists (all the king’s men) tried to fix the cannon, they ultimately failed, and lost the battle.
 Had a Great Fall attempts to portray and capture the sounds of this legendary battle, from the blasts of the cannon to the ringing of the church tower bells.  The movement climaxes with the destruction of the tower and Humpty-Dumpty’s subsequent tumble to the ground.

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