Richman’s ‘Her Light’ is Most Intricate, Passionate Commission for BSO Yet

A highlight of every Bangor Symphony Orchestra season is hearing a new Lucas Richman composition. “Her Light,” commissioned by Eloise Ricciardelli in honor of her daughter, Cassandra Babbitt, premiered Sunday at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine.

Written to “musically mirror the impact one individual has when her light is a perpetual beacon” for family and friends, it is one of the most intricate and passionate pieces the conductor has created for the BSO.

In his remarks before its premiere, Richman said that he used a nine-note motive — C-A-E-E-A-G-D-D-A — to represent the name Cassandra in a modified rondo form. Babbitt’s long first name added to the complexity of the composition.

“Each time the piece begins to divert from its true path, the beacon brings it back in focus with a return of the main melody,” the program notes on “Her Light” said. “The work reflects on its [Babbitt’s] qualities as a stalwart, selfless and loving family figure combined with the name’s etymological meaning as a seer and prophetess.”

The orchestra performed “Her Light” beautifully in spite of only having the music a short time. Richman said Sunday the piece was “just four days old.” Babbitt, along with most other concertgoers, rose to her feet in appreciation when the conductor lowered his baton.