Black Rainbow

for symphony orchestra

Charlotte Bray

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for symphony orchestra

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Composer Charlotte Bray



Year of Composition




Student Difficulty

Categories (all composers) , ,
Catalogue ID ce-cb1br1


Commissioned by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for their Youth Orchestra under Jac van Steen, Black Rainbow found its inspiration in the Pageant Amphitheater at The MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire. Built in the 1920s, this stunning space has an intense, powerful energy. The work is an expression of imagined scenes played out there.

A rainbow seen at night can be referred to as a black rainbow; difficult to see, the colors are often hidden; a metaphor for something sought after but impossible to attain, an alluring ongoing search. The first movement is dark and ritualistic. It is mid summer and the air is tight, uncomfortable. The light grey, purple almost. The second is fleeting, sensual; time is suspended, a dream-like state.

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