By Marcia Stockton
Picture Pennsylvania's natural beauty as it was seen by the pioneers: a misty morning, vast expanses of tree-filled wilderness, the seemingly endless Allegheny River stretching far into the distance. A river meant water for livestock and agriculture, and the possibility of navigating the waterway for commerce. The energetic main theme depicts these sturdy settlers' aspirations and explorations. But the solemnity gives way to the merry fiddle tune of a barn dance. Awistful waltz in a minor mode contrasts their hardship and loneliness. The main theme returns a new key, signifying determination and confidence. The piece ends as it began, with a query expressed by the violins, pondering what the future may hold.
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