Point of Reckoning (string orchestra)


Point of Reckoning (string orchestra)


Gillingham, David R.

Item Code:
C. Alan Publications

Inspired by the hymn 'O For A Thousands Tongues to Sing', this work begins quite frantically with sporadic motives from the hymn. Alternating passages of lyric beauty and rhythmic confusion follow with several dramatic presentations of the hymn tune.

Program Notes

Point of Reckoning was commissioned by Hazel Cheilek, conductor/director emeritus of the renowned orchestra at Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology in Fairfax, Virginia. The work seeks to define the particular moment in one's life when there is a realization of one's mortality and a force bigger than humankind that is all-knowing and ever-present. My Christian background has inspired the use of the hymn "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing" ("Azmon"), words by Charles Wesley and music by Carl Glaser. The work begins quite frantically and in confusion with motives of the hymn occurring sporadically. The hymn emerges mysteriously, but is upstaged again by anger and confusion and culminates in ten hammered articulations of a strident sonority. A slow, lyrical section follows, again utilizing motives of the hymn within a texture of rich diatonic clusters. The tempo of the first section segues with the frantic confusion returning only to be overwhelmed by a dramatic presentation of the hymn by the 2nd violins and lower strings accompnied by a very rhythmic ostinato in the 1st violins. The work progresses to a joyous coda. Wesley's first and fourth verses of the hymn were a point of inspiration for this work: O for a thousand tongues to sing
My dear Redeemer's praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace.

He speaks, and listening to His Voice,
New life the dead receive;
The mournful broken hearts rejoice,
The humble poor believe.

Grade Level: 5
Copyright: 2003
Number of Players: 8-8-5-5-5
Duration: 8:00

Listen to Recordings

Sample PDF

  • point.pdf
  • Instrumentation

    Violin I
    Violin II