Program Notes: Clamor Cordis Deo (“A Cry of the Heart to God”) was composed during a particularly uncertain period in my life. I wanted to express my emotions of despair and frustration, as various psalmists from the Bible did, while still maintaining a sense of confidence in the character of God and the certainty of His help; the process was cathartic, and resulted in one of the most personal and most passionate pieces of music I have ever written.
The thematic material is profoundly simple, and all of it is presented, however obscuredly, within the first phrase of the piano introduction. Though the slow, yearning section and the fast, fiery section are vastly different in character, the same motives are developed and transformed by their surroundings throughout. The result of the “less is more” construction of the composition is a minimalistic feel and the complete exclusion of chromaticism, favoring modality over leading-tone tonicization. The final sonority of a suspended chord on A (A-D-E) never resolves, yet it instills a sense of hope for future resolution, which is heightened by ascending rolled chords in the piano.