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Retonica : full orchestra

by Elena Kats-Chernin (1993)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

From the CD Works for orchestra. Vol. 4

Works for orchestra. Vol. 4


This item is not commercially available from the Australian Music Centre. We regret that we cannot offer it for sale.


Works for orchestra. Vol. 4 / Elena Kats-Chernin.

Library shelf no. CD 858 [Available for loan]



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Retonica : for full orchestra / by Elena Kats-Chernin.

Library shelf no. Q 784.2/KAT 3 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

As I was writing this piece, I became interested in thinking about the whole notion of tonality. I had spent many years prior to this doing experimental works and I found that I was being drawn back to the idea of a tonic, which for me is always 'do' or C, and also the idea of a tonic as a restorative or re-energizing element. I wrote the work just before my ensemble piece Clocks, and in many ways the two works are related: both contain sections of clock-like mechanistic material. This was one of the first big pieces I had written to that date, and in some ways this reassessment of tonality was a great release for me -- it was the first of many works that came like a flood in the following years. It is also one of the first works where I reduced all the materials to their barest and simplest form. I used that distilled point of single focus as a base (or tonic) over which I re-assembled the work, always mindful to not lose that simplicity I had worked so hard to gain.

Elena Kats-Chernin

Work Details

Year: 1993

Instrumentation: 3 flutes/piccolo, 3 oboes, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, percussion (3 players), harp, harpsichord (amplified, doubles celesta), prepared piano, 2 button accordions, strings.

Duration: 13 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by Australian Music Centre.. Written for Stockholm Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, but not premiered by them.

First performance: by Sydney Symphony, Edo de Waart — 11 Nov 98. Sydney Town Hall

Performances of this work

11 Nov 98: Sydney Town Hall. Featuring Sydney Symphony, Edo de Waart.

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