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This is the first movement of Three Easter Scenes. The garden of course is Gethsemane. A fairly impressionistic work, I attempted to portray the agony as Jesus contemplates His coming ordeal. A choppy bass pizzicato figure is a kind of premonition of the march to Calvary (which becomes the opening theme of the next movement). In one section, a solo trombone substitutes for the words "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done." Toward the end, there is a section I think of as "dialogue between the Father and the Son." It features the harp technique "bisbigliando (whispering). The harpist plays 4 notes in a somewhat random pattern, while the left hand has an arpeggiated figure (I had to enter the notes in a definite pattern however) . The piece ends abruptly with a detachment of soldiers showing up, ending the scene.

This is a wave file (sounds better and discourages unauthorized downloading).

Copyright by Michael Diemer 2019

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For me, I fell that this is too serene (though very nice) for what happens in the garden. There are a lot of strong emotions going on. There is hope, fear, longing, disappointment, and more. The beginning is fine, though I might have liked some second violin harmony under all that melody. And perhaps a far more dramatic chord statement at the end. Many of these things might be taken care of with the dynamic marking you seem reluctant to use. Without them the music is just notes sitting there in my ears, rather than taking me on a journey. And some tempo variation in the form of ritards and accel. You are holding this music back. Let it out. 

Just my thoughts which may or may not mean anything.

Thanks for posting this.

Thanks for your comments Stephen. Actually, this was conceived more as a historical piece than a religious one. The events of Christ's life are well documented, and factual (although the miracles and resurrection are a matter of faith). As JC was arguably the most influential person who ever lived, he is hard to ignore. I like to write music which is about things. Nature usually, but in this case an historical event, which just happens to have shaped western civilization more than any other.

someday I may spend the time needed to make my music more dynamically interesting. I say may because, it is possible I make it the way it is, because I like it that way. Not all western music has the over the top dynamics we have seen since the Romantic era. Baroque music was fairly even dynamically; the interest came from other factors. I have sometimes considered that I may be a Baroque Impressionist, possibly the first, and maybe and last...
Thanks for your comments Bob. I definitely get the thing about dynamics. Everyone brings it up so it has to be real. The other things I will need to think about. Re: secondary violin harmony, I have a tendency to over-do things like this, so I may have considered it and removed it. but you're right about the chord at the end, I agree it needs some work. If I just had an amanuensis, who could put in all that stuff for me....but then i'm just michael diemer, not John Williams...


This piece has a lot melody and counter-melody. More like two different melodies going on at the same time. That's fine, but it might be nice to brake it up here and there with a nice harmonized melody. That's all.

As for dynamics? To me, they are like breathing. They help facilitate the rise and fall of a phrase or a melody, or even a entire section. To me music is more than just the notes on the page. Seems to me that because all we have to go on here is your recording (and I prefer that to a score, because if your recording can't tell me what I want to know, chances are the score won't either), then you need to let us in on what you are hearing in your head. This nothing to do with John Williams, and everything to do with you putting your soul into your music. Isn't that what it's all about? In my family we have a saying. "If it's worth doing, it's worth over doing". Which is much like "Go big or go home". I think music is one on those areas this all applies.

Bob, I actually do put dynamics in my scores. I haven't done the score yet for this one. I could post one that is done if you want, so you can see if what I have done makes sense.

Silly me, You're already controlling dynamics in your DAW. Never mind.

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