Duration: 14 minutes
Instrumentation: solo piano
Commissioned by the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association and the Music Teacher's National Association
"Inspired by the final repair service to the famed Hubble Space Telescope, the piece—suitably full of colorful imagery and widely spaced sonorities—opens upon a celebration (“Intergalatic Mambo”) of a bygone era unrivaled in human perspective. Expanding far beyond the formal confines of prior selections, this captivating narrative embeds Wickman’s signature interconnectivity across four separate movements, moving through the wondrous tinkering of the second (“Busy! Busy! BUSY! …all work and NO play will fix the Multi-Object Spectrometer”) to the sweeping implications of the third (“Imagining the Imaging Spectrograph”). In a clever allusion to Hubble’s progressive Western origins—underpinning both Wickman’s musical setting and the telescope itself—the last movement (“A Final Polish: Then We Rest”) kick starts its pensive finale with a fitting quotation from the second movement of Beethoven’s well known “Moonlight” sonata significantly raised one half-step. Truncated, this brief cue returns twice more in a poignantly muted, altered form to usher in the work’s sudden ending. The decidedly unfinished final moments evoke the coming age of exploration as their collective range climbs ever skyward toward the next phase of human understanding."
--Ryan Patrick Jones