Commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for Gustavo Dudamel, Hartke's fourth symphony is a strikingly-powerful and emotionally-charged work. The solo organ part was written for and actually sketched out on the one-of-a-kind grand concert organ at Walt Disney Hall. Though it was originally conceived as a twenty-minute piece without vocals, Hartke surreptitiously came across the gorgeous translation of Lorca's poem, “The Sleepwalking Ballad” by late Irish Poet Michael Hartnett and masterfully set the text into a climactic finale with solo Soprano as composer Gustav Mahler had famously done in his own fourth symphony.
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