Commissioned by the Atlanta Freedom Band, Journey through the Stratosphere is a celebratory work comprising two themes. The opening theme is a soaring melody stated by the trumpets with rhythmic ostinati in the winds. As the main theme passes to the winds, the brass picks up the pulse of the piece.
We now transition to a lush, lyrical theme stated by horns and clarinets which builds emotionnaly by use of a powerful and more robust orchestration. The work evolves to a variation of the opening theme, recapitulating in a grandiose, slower tempo, bringing the piece to its riveting conclusion.
Cinematic in its scope, one can almost visualize a spacecraft taking you on a journey through the cosmos.