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for chamber orchestra
first performance: 17 April 2000; Manhattan School of Music; New York, NY; The Claremont Ensemble; Glen Barton Cortese, conductor
detailed orchestration: 1 (=picc).1.1.1. – 126.96.36.199 – 2perc: vib/3 grad.SD/3 susp.cym/crot/bell tree/5 tbl/tam/BD/guiro/
wtr.gong; 4 timp/glock/xyl/3 tom/mtl.wind chimes/3 susp.cym – hp – pf – str (188.8.131.52.1 or multiples)
The Chamber Concerto begins with an “explosion,” and as the cloud settles, two elements emerge. The first is a rhythmic figure of one note played twice in rapid succession (first heard in the low pizzicato strings and timpani). The second is an ornate, “arabesque” sound event that occurs in the flute, clarinet, harp, and piano. Over the four sections of the piece, these two ideas are developed continuously, sometimes separately, and other times combined. The initial rhythmic motive is expanded, held, shifted, and chained to make the underlying rhythmic structure, while the “arabesque” idea begins to take on a more thematic and textural role.
This piece is something akin to "cartoon" music, and was deeply inspired by the sardonic nature of Stravinsky's Petrouschka and the Shostakovich Ninth Symphony.