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Anthony Iannaccone (b. 1943) is a composer and conductor on the faculty of Eastern Michigan University.  He studied at the Manhattan School of Music and the Eastman School of Music under such notable composers as Aaron Copland, David Diamond, and Vittorio Giannini.  He has published more than 50 compositions which have won him many awards, including the 1995 ABA Ostwald Award for Sea Drift.

Iannaccone wrote After a Gentle Rain in 1979.  He says:

After a Gentle Rain is a work in two contrasting movements – the first quiet, meditative and introverted and the second sparkling, dance-like and extroverted.  The piece is dedicated to Dr. Max Plank and the Eastern Michigan University Symphonic Band and was recorded by the band for Golden Crest Records (ATH-5072).

1. “The Dark Green Glistens With Old Reflections”.  The first movement begins with a gently rippling, arpeggiated figure that contains the main harmonic and melodic idea of the entire piece: two superimposed major triads. The figure subtly changes color as it migrates through various registers, spacings, and doublings.  While the external shape of the sextuplet seems frozen, one can hear an internal, textural progression of changing resonance qualities.  Against this backdrop is painted a wide spectrum of both dark and bright mixtures of soft brass, reeds and percussion.  Those colorful mixtures constantly re-define the background and foreground of this introverted scenario.

The play on words in the title suggests images of light reflecting off moist green foliage in turn evoking reflections “off” old memories in a quiet, meditative context.  Memories, images and colors become bolder and more powerful, culminate in a climax and gradually recede into the past with the same delicate afterglow of soft bell sounds heard in the opening measures.

2. “Sparkling Air Bursts With Dancing Sunlight”.  Extroverted and dance-like in nature this movement gallops with the joy and freshness that seems to fill the air after a gentle rain.  The cleansed air sparkles with a sense of re-birth and the celebration of life.

The Austin Symphonic Band performs After a Gentle Rain:

Read up on Anthony Iannaccone at the Wind Repertory Project, Wikipedia, and his own website.  After a Gentle Rain also has a study guide available, published by GIA.

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