Trace : two miniatures for chamber orchestra
by Elliott Gyger (1997)
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Library shelf no. 784.3/GYG 1 [Available for loan]
This work is a transcription of two short "occasional" pieces: Threshold (1994) for solo piano, and Eulogy (1991) for Eb clarinet and piano. These two miniatures have in common the fact that they adhere to fairly strict rhythmic and formal schemes, but with entirely intuitively conceived pitch material. Each of them is also a duet ‑ Eulogy literally so, while Threshold is structured as a duet between the pianist's two hands.
The orchestral transcriptions are virtually note-for-note, but feature a deliberately kaleidoscopic interplay of timbres. In the case of Threshold this is implicit in the textural volatility of the original, which might be characterized as a compressed series of overlapping variations on the basic material. Eulogy, on the other hand, is in its original form extremely consistent in its gestures. Here the orchestration is definitely adding a new layer of meaning to the musical text, with the clarinet's phrases allotted to every solo colour in the orchestra in turn (and the accompaniment receiving comparably diverse treatment).
My choice of the title trace for the new version of the two pieces taken together reflects not only the process of re-creation and the wispy character of the orchestral textures, but also the elusive role of memory in the unfolding history of the music.
Instrumentation: Piccolo, flute, oboe, cor anglais in F, clarinet in A, bass clarinet in B flat, 2 bassoons, 2 horns in F, percussion (1 player), harp, strings (188.8.131.52.1).
Duration: 4 min.
Contents note: I. Threshold -- Eulogy.
Performances of this work
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