Glenn Stallcop       Composer, Performer


Delirium (2024)

for 2 Fl., 2 AltoFl., 2 Cl., 2 Bcl., 2 Mrb.,, 2 Hp., & Db.

12 Mins.

Delirium is available from American Composers Edition ( and may be ordered here .

Program Notes with Score Video 

Finding inspiration for composing music is a complex subject.  Some composers engage in research, others wait for the lightening bolt of inspiration, and still others just work with notes and have little non-musical influence.  Though I tend toward the latter, I do take my initial inspiration from improvisation which is more right-brained than most.  However, I have known some very good composers who find their inspiration in dreams, visions, and outright hallucinations.  I have always found this mesmerizing.  

This work, in a sense, is an homage to one of history’s composers who traveled this mesmerizing route, Hector Berlioz.  Not only was Berlioz a wildly imaginative composer in terms of subject matter, his music is exceptionally creative all by itself.  Sometimes, it seems as if Berlioz becomes distracted by inspiration in the middle of a phrase, and decides to take it somewhere else.  I don’t believe this is true, but his ability to inject creativity into the smallest of details is a constant source of amazement.

I was working with the material for this piece when I had the idea for this unusual instrumentation.  The multi-leveled harmonies give the piece a rather disassociated, unfocused feeling, hence the title, Delirium.  The titles of the movements are taken from the two sections of the first movement of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique.  The first movement is not actually slow, but it is lyrical and mysterious at times.  The second movement is a scherzo or dance movement, a rather Latin-infused waltz, and it also has its mysterious moments.  The multi-tonal chord which opens the work is repeated at the end of the last movement in a totally different manner.  There are two of each instrument in the ensemble, except the double bass.  There are also two movements.  The work is just over twelve minutes in duration.