Composer: Henrique Coe
Year of composition: 2023
Duration: approximately 7 minutes

Video: World Premiere by Orquestra Sinfônica do Teatro Nacional Claudio Santoro, conducted by Cláudio Cohen, in Brasília.
Audio and Video Engineer: Emânuel Camarão – EVIOLÃO Produções Musicais

Program note:
Tempestas, for orchestra, is based on the biblical passage in which Christ calms a storm. The title means “storm” in Latin. The piece was written in 2023 and lasts approximately 7 minutes. This tempest passage appears in three biblical passages: Mark 4, 35-41; Luke 8, 22-25; and Matthew 8, 23-27.

And when he entered into the boat, his disciples followed him: And behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves, but he was asleep. And they came to him, and awaked him, saying: Lord, save us, we perish. And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm. But the men wondered, saying: What manner of man is this, for the winds and the sea obey him? (Matt 8, 23-27).

The piece begins depicting the storm with an introduction in Agitato (agitated) tempo. The percussion, notably the thundersheet, takes the listener into a stormy environment, as does the orchestration of the woodwinds and of the strings. Then a fugue takes place on the low strings amidst the storm, representing the fear of the disciples.
The fugue is interrupted, giving way to a calm and melodious section in Largo (slow) tempo, contrasting with the beginning of the piece. In this section, the tranquility of Christ despite the storm is represented. The highlight of the section is the horn solo, which is introduced by arpeggios on the harp. The strings resume the melody of the horn, while the woodwinds and keyboard percussion instruments enrich the orchestration. The horn then ends its solo, and the strings conclude the section. The stormy environment returns, as does the fugue, in the Agitato tempo. This agitated environment, showing the disciples’ fear, continues until the next section begins in Andante tempo. This new section has a triumphant character and represents Christ commanding the winds and the sea, calming the storm. The fortissimo brass choir stands out, enhancing the triumphant character of the section. The Coda concludes the piece peacefully, representing the great calm.

Tempestas was premiered on 31 July 2023 during the Tonal Composers Festival in Brasilia at Eixo Cultural Ibero-Americano by the Orquestra Sinfônica do Teatro Nacional Claudio Santoro, conducted by maestro Cláudio Cohen.