And Yet it Moves

full orchestra | 8' | 2019

Commissioned by the Boulder Symphony

Perusal Score



Instrumentation: 2222 4331 Timp +2 Strings

Premiered January 30th and 31st, 2020 by the Boulder Symphony; Devin Hughes, Conductor.


Program Note


Eppur si Muove - And Yet it Moves. These apocryphal words were reportedly muttered by Galileo Galilei after recanting his belief in the idea that the earth revolves around the sun.


This is a piece about Galileo - his ideas, his struggles, and the playfulness of genius that secured his place as one of the great minds in western civilization.


The textures and melodies in the piece are intended to evoke the heavens. They are meant to suggest our drive as a species to explore the unknown, and the beauty in the secrets of the universe. This music points to those things that are beyond our grasp, those things we cannot know despite our ingenuity and audacity. They point to the seemingly infinite possibility of it all.


The main theme of the piece is a recurring melody in the horns and trombones that represents not only the orbit of heavenly bodies, but also Galileo himself – a historical figure who's now mythical and heroic story has become defined by his struggle within the orbit of the Catholic Church at the height of the counter reformation.


This piece is an homage to Galileo, his world, and his ideas. But this music is also a resounding affirmation of those truths in our own lives that, for whatever purpose, we deny, suppress, or cannot bring ourselves to embrace.


There are things that cannot possibly be true - and yet they are. Eppur si Muove - And Yet it Moves.


© 2021 by John Clay Allen