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SFA Wind Symphony to perform Boss composition 'Tetelestai'

April 21, 2017 - Robbie Goodrich
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin State University Wind Symphony will present "Tetelestai" at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 1, in W.M. Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building on the SFA campus.

Composer Andrew Boss described his "Tetelestai - A Symphony for Wind Ensemble" as work that "portrays images rather than adhering to a strict narrative," allowing for "a different interpretation of these images from each listener as he or she engages in a unique aural experience as the music unfolds."

Tetelestai is Greek for "It is finished," the last words Jesus spoke before his death, according to the Gospel of John.

"The nature of this word - in the perfect indicative mood of its verbal form teleo - suggests having completed an action that is both irreversible and infinite," Boss wrote in describing the piece. "Within the context Jesus used, it meant that he perfectly fulfilled the demands of the Mosaic Law on behalf of his people, and that he took the punishment his people deserved and placed it onto his own shoulders by his death."

Throughout the symphony, Boss attempted to capture images of how he interpreted these series of biblical events.

"This is not a programmatic work, because I am not retelling the story of this account," he wrote. "Rather, I am portraying images based on how this story makes me feel."

The first movement portrays images of the crucifixion - betrayal, despair, suffering and death.

"This movement begins and ends with a linear theme in the horn representing a promise waiting to be fulfilled, which returns intimately later in the piece," he said.

The second movement portrays images of conflict between two opposing forces, such as life vs. death, or dark vs. light. The third movement is subdivided into two separate sections, beginning with a short interlude, followed by the finale.

"The finale begins in a reflective mood and slowly intensifies toward a climactic conclusion that portrays images of victory and rebirth," Boss said, "which is how I interpret the resurrection."

In addition to "Tetelestai - A Symphony for Wind Ensemble," the Wind Symphony will perform works by Davide Della Cese, Pete Wiley and David Maslanka.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS or visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu.