Based on the story of the Prodigal Son from the Bible, Prodigal is constructed through three main themes – one for each character in the story. The father’s theme is lyrical and flowing, and is inspired by Gregorian chant. The older son’s theme is rigid and stubborn, while the younger son’s theme is chaotic and unpredictable. Throughout the piece each theme endures various permutations – especially the younger son – such as inversion, ornamentation, and interpolation.
Josh Ring Composition Recital, April 5, 2016, NIU; Vicki Long – bassoon.