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Ocean, The (Henry Kimball Hadley)

(Henry Kimball Hadley)

The writing of this symphonic/tone poem for orchestra by Henry Kimball Hadley, based on Ocean Ode by Louis K. Anspacher, began in 1920 and was completed in the October of 1921.

Henry Hadley explained that he had taken certain stanzas from Ocean Ode and, used them in a different order to how they appear in the poem. The result was a piece of music which portrays all the different moods of the ocean from calm to tumultuous.  It has a recurring “motto” throughout and contains an Introduction, the first part is an Allegro, the middle has a “sea sprite motif” and the third is serene with a finale of the motto to complete the piece.

The work had it’s premiere at New York’s Carnegie Hall on 17th November 1921 when the composer conducted the New York Philharmonic.  It has since been performed by many orchestras and recorded by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine.

National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine recordings
Naxos 8.559064 (CD:  Henry Kimball Hadley:  Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 64; The Ocean, Op. 99; The Culprit Fay, Op. 62)
Conductor – John McLaughlin Williams


  1. CD Liner Notes – Hadley: Symphony No. 4 in D Minor , The Ocean Op.99, The Culprit Fay Op.62