String Sinfonietta (2008, rev. 2011) for string orchestra, 18 minutes
Premiere: May 2008, San José, CA, San José Chamber Orchestra, Barbara Turner, conductor. Commissioned by San José Chamber Orchestra.
IV. Moto Perpetuo – Presto Possible
As with many of my works, influences from Chinese and Indonesian folk music can be heard in String Sinfonietta. It is essentially a reworking of my String Quartet No. 1 for string orchestra, with revisions that include the addition of double basses. The third movement was composed first, and was originally thought of as stand-alone piece. However, inspired by the success of Pizzicato, I composed the first, second, and fourth movements over the next two years, using similar scale patterns found in Pizzicato. The first movement, “Animato,” is lively with frequent use of interlocking and syncopated rhythms under long, flowing, melodic lines. Next, “Interludium,” the only slow movement, has hints of a folk melody, superimposed over alternating chords that appear and disappear to create an atmospheric mood. As the title suggests, “Pizzicato” requires the string players to pluck the strings of their instruments, with few added surprises towards the end. The final movement, “Moto Perpetuo,” includes a virtuosic display of constantly swirling sixteenth notes that drives the work to an explosive conclusion.
String Sinfonietta is the result of my longtime collaboration with the San Jos Chamber Orchestra (SJCO) and its music director Barbara Day Turner. SJCO premiered the string orchestra version of the third movement,Pizzicato, in 2005 as a result of my Music Alive composer-in-residence. The full version was premiered by SJCO in 2008, and this performance marks the Canadian premiere of this work.
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