Awakening was written in 1984, as a response to the threat of nuclear annihilation, at the height of the US-Soviet arms race. It was premiered (by the composer) at a Concert for Peace which she organized in Columbia, SC, to benefit the Carolina Peace Resource Center’s work to prevent nuclear holocaust.
The opening movement is agitated, its angular, almost constant 16th notes expressing the underlying fears we all lived with. The second movement is a moment of calm, spacious, like a warm, soft breeze, a connection with peace and the Infinite Love which pervades the universe. The third movement opens with quiet, majestic chords which build to a triumphant conclusion, with 16th notes now conveying the joy of renewal. As the Psalmist says, “those who sow in tears reap in joy.” (Psalm 126)
— Meira Warshauer