Nox : triple concerto grosso for solo violin, viola, cello and string orchestra
by Natalie Williams (2010)
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Nox (or Nyx) was known in both Greek and Roman mythology as the goddess of the night. This single movement (from a longer 3-mvt. piece) explores poetic ideas of the night; darkness and sleep, shadows and dreams.
The musical materials of the concerto are based wholly on the Fibonacci series and its translation into pitch, harmonic and rhythmic terms. This additive number series occurs throughout the work; as soaring melodic and gestural figures in the solo lines, forming the opening and closing chordal material, and providing the rhythmic patterns for most of this piece. The beat class, pitch class and interval class sets intersect throughout the movement, each using the Fibonacci series for their construction.
The idea of a "triple" concerto is most closely related to the concerto grosso, wherein the three soloists function both independently and jointly from the tutti. I have structured the piece around this interaction between the Concertino and Ripieno, using the soloists to drive and develop material, but also mixing them within the texture of the Concertino group. Their three voices form an equal part of the melodic lines, frequently working in hocket-like patterns. Together they outline melodies and textures of darkness/sadness, emerging from a single voice, as the piece progresses.
Instrumentation: Violin, viola, cello, strings.
Duration: 12 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by Thomas La Forgia.
- In the form/style of: Concertos
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