Movement I - "The Rocketsí Red Glare" depicts the siege of Fort McHenry - a bombardment of rockets, cannon blasts, flying mortar, bricks and stones. A highly energetic and dark interpretation.
Movement II - The second and fourth verses to the Star-Spangled Banner, not well known to most Americans, are highlighted musically and optionally by narrations in the second movement. "Dimly Seen Through the Mists of the Deep" is a celebration of the hope, pride and honor the defenders must have felt to still have a flag (measuring 30 feet by 42 feet, made especially to taunt the British) flying over them after such a costly battle.
Movement III - "When Freemen Shall Stand" is an attempt to capture that multitude of patriotic feelings we share as Americans -- the stand we take everyday -- the stand our Military takes on our behalf around the globe and the countless times that that has been done in the name of freedom during the history of our Nation.
FORT MCHENRY SUITE
The titles of the three movements, "The Rocketsí Red Glare," "Dimly Seen Through the Mists of the Deep" and "When Freemen Shall Stand" are quotes taken directly from the first, second and fourth verses of the Star- Spangled Banner.