From a Seattle Cascades press release: Embarking on the greatest musical journey in their history, the 2005 Seattle Cascades will present a full, 135-member corps performing an "Airborne Symphony." The catalyst material, Marc Blitzstein's World War II-era "Airborne Symphony," will transport both the performers and their 'passengers' (audiences) through an adventurous chronicle of flight. The eclectic musical selections come from a variety of eras and ingeniously fold into an American epic. Curiosity and anticipation are in the air throughout the opening, as the listener will be aurally transported to the year 1903, the dawn of human flight. David Gillingham's "Aerodynamics" will depict the construction of the airplane and its subsequent turn-of-the-century celebration by means of material from Scott Joplin's "Weeping Willow Rag." The ensuing flowing lyric lines will sweep the listener through the exhilarating first test flight and the ultimate freedom of treading on air. Celebration turns to a certain dread, as "Redline Tango" by John Mackey will depict the horrific advent of air combat. Using the strength of attacking percussion, engaging, tormenting and eventually destroying, many will be lost to the battle. Following the carnage, an otherworldly incantation comes in the form of "Stairway To Heaven," by Led Zeppelin, in an arrangement including asymmetrical meters and an underlying desperate questioning of the airplane's glory. Finally, the prevailing winds return via swirling ascending and descending chromatic passages leading the 'passengers' through final take-off the brilliantly exultant section of "Aerodynamics," a glorious final celebration of the human triumph of flight.
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