ripple : for orchestra
by Douglas Knehans (2002)
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Ripple when referring to sound is defined as 'to go on or proceed with an effect like that of water flowing in ripples.'
In this work I have interpreted this meaning very literally in that the opening grid of full orchestral stabs sets up a rhythmic framework from which a hocketed treatment arises of winds and strings supported by the brass and percussion. A secondary ripple is set in place with the more playful ideas in the woodwinds starting in bar 6 of the work. This material 'ripples' through the work in various guises: set contrapuntally in a very slow form in the middle section of the work as well as providing expressive focus when set for strings only about three quarters of the way through the piece. Of course the fast sections are always punctuated by this material set in its original scherzando form and serving to contrast the bold muscularity of the full orchestral hits punctuating the piece.
In a formal sense the work is cast in a type of 5 part form with the original opening 'A' section appearing three times in varied form. The scherzando material forms the basis of the two contrasting 'B' sections: first, the slow expressive section where it is set in canon with itself and a second time for strings only where it is set in an intensified, more keenly expressive manner. Thus the work has a fairly traditional ABABA form with the materials all drawn from the opening ten or so measures.
Instrumentation: Piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, cor anglais, E flat clarinet, B flat clarinet, B flat bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contra-bassoon, 4 horns in F, 2 trumpets in C, trombone, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, percussion (4 players), piano, strings.
Duration: 13 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Professional.
First performance: by National Symphony Orchestra, Ukraine — 15 Apr 06. Premiere of the Season Festival, Kiev, UKRAINE
The work was written at the Bundanon Artists Centre near the Shoalhaven river on the south coast of New South Wales in late 2002.
Performances of this work
15 Apr 06: Premiere of the Season Festival, Kiev, UKRAINE. Featuring National Symphony Orchestra, Ukraine.
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