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'Cajolery' on the Largest Stage in the State

Nov 22, 2013

The Alaska Center for the Performing Arts is the gateway to all mainstream touring acts who come to the remote state, but this time it was a local act which stole the show. The Anchorage Civic Orchestra premiered "Cajolery of the Forest," for the first time as a featured piece in its all-American concert on November 22 with Maffe conducting.

Maffe's piece is a tone poem—a retelling of the fall of man (Genesis 3), but without the fruit. A man finds himself in a serene forest surrounded by beauty but tormented by a solitary tree which calls to him. He battles the temptation but finally touches it and the short satisfaction quickly diverges to pain and loud noises like a trumpet throw the man to the ground. Then a light comes and brings peace to the man. The piece was written in tandem with a poem narrating the story ("Cajolery of the Tree").

Mike Dunham of the Anchorage Daily News reviews the performance:

"Cajolery" is a well-wrought tone poem evoking the northern woods. It mixes the mysterious lightness of Alan Hovhaness and the calculated lushness of a movie score with an excellent and stirring -- though perhaps insufficiently developed -- song theme that keeps sticking in my head. There was a standing ovation and shouts of approval for the composer at the end of the piece."

Artwork by Julia Wadell

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Cajolery of the ForestSterling Maffe and the Anchorage Civic Orchestra
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