Blow It Up, Start Again

Vivid Geography





In the Valley of the Elwy



for violin solo, baritone solo, and small orchestra
Duration: 13'
I.bar.&orch./II.vln&orch / III.bar.vln&orch

Commissioned by:
Sinfonia Calcania of Boston

2Ob, 2Hn, VlnSolo, BarSolo, Strings

This work is in manuscript.

Trilogy is a setting of a small work by the wonderfully evocative poet, Octavio Paz. I approached working with two soloists by separating the piece into three continuous parts: the first, for baritone solo and orchestra, which sets the Paz text in the English translation; the second, for violin solo and orchestra; and the last for both soloists, setting the same poem in the original Spanish.

The first part is somewhat minimal in harmonic and rhythmic motion. It features the baritone singing over an almost constant repeating 16th note pattern. Harmonically it is based on triads and perfect intervals.

The second part is a "loose" chaconne, where a harmonic progression, consisting of six 7-note chords repeat throughout the section. The violin solo plays through, over, under, against, and with this repeating progression. The harmonic language is quite different from the first section.

The last and shortest section concentrates on modal harmonies, thin textures, and duo lines, setting the poem as if both the violin and the baritone are "chanting" the text together.

Trilogy uses the same instrumentation as the Mozart Violin Concerto which shared the program in the premiere performance, and is dedicated in gratitude to Gary Peterson and Danica Mills. The first performance was 1/20/97 by Sinfonia Calcania of Boston.