A note from the composer...
The Eagle is inspired by the Indian tawny eagle synonymous with the world renowned International Centre for Birds of Prey, Newent, and in the 50th anniversary year of landing on the moon, the name of the lunar module, ‘eagle’.
The music broadly depicts an eagle’s soaring take-off, flight and landing. Towards the end it pays homage to the iconic space event, with a cornet melody which sets the words of a sign left on the moon by the astronauts: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind”.
Musically, The Eagle emulates aspects of the repeated patterns from Widor's Toccata (‘Symphony for Organ No. 5’), conveying a sense of travel through the continuously evolving harmonic progressions. Widor wrote the Toccata for a new type of organ with a vast range of timbres and range of orchestral voicing - hence the ‘symphony’ title - and a range of often integrated cornet and piano timbres are explored. The music is also influenced by an online recording of Widor himself at the age of 88 performing the Toccata at a much slower speed than has become more widely known, demonstrating grandeur, majesty and power – and perhaps in itself emulating a concept of space and flight.