Commissioned by Meet the Composer and The Philadelphia Orchestra as part of the former organization's Orchestra Residencies Program, Canti dell'Eclisse (Songs of the Eclipse) was given its premiere by the Orchestra with bass soloist Thomas Paul and Conductor Gerard Schwarz on January 28, 1993, at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.
The first work Rands wrote expressly for The Philadelphia Orchestra in his capacity as its composer-in-residence was Ceremonial 3, commissioned by Carnegie Hall in honor of its centennial, and given its premiere there under Riccardo Muti's baton on March 18, 1991.
Completed in October 1984, each of the two suites, which may be performed separately, consists of three short movements, scored for large orchestra. The musical character of each of the individual movements was prompted by specific visual characteristics found in certain paintings and drawings by Van Gogh.
ReviewsMore spontaneously and openly indeed than many of his contemporaries, Rands acknowledges the work of past composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Berg, Stravinsky, and Bartok as his indispensable meat and drink. Maybe it is to this acknowledgement and the security that goes with it that his own music, not really paradoxically, owes some of its unmistakable originality and sense of identity. But for the real reason, we must probably go back to that ultimate ground of humanness, of self, of communication which, as with any true creative artist unites Rands the man and Rands the musician. - Bernard Jacobson