Spirit Rounds

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Spirit Rounds  for Orchestra  [10 minutes]

Performed by the Classic FM Orchestra with Maxim Eshkenazy (Conductor) at Bulgaria Hall.

Instrumentation:  Piccolo/Flute, Flute, 2 Oboes, Eb Clarinet, Clarinet, 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns, 2 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Bass Trombone, Tuba, 2 Percussion, Drum Set, Piano, & Strings.

Year Composed:  2012

Program Notes:  

Spirit Rounds is a piece about celebration.  It is about people gathered together, festively sharing ideas, riffing on those ideas, and exploring one’s own nature and spirit.  These concepts are displayed in two themes: a playful spirit theme representing new ideas and a dynamic chorale-like theme representing revelation.  Both themes are influenced by folk music and classic rock utilizing blues scales, syncopation, pitch bending, and driving beats.

Set in three connected sections (fast-slow-fast), the piece begins with a high-hat, crackling like a fire, that quickly builds into a fanfare of the chorale theme.  Following the initial theme, the second spirit theme appears as a descending major third.  That melody is then fully introduced by a solo clarinet.  The spirit theme continues on as variations in solo voices while the chorale theme appears intermittently.  The chorale theme makes a majestic return in a burst of exhuberance before relaxing into a calmer setting.  

The solos now become duets as pairs of instruments expand on the chorale theme in a more introspective and ponderous turn of the melody.  However, this slower section quickly gives way to a reemergence of the spirit theme.  With one final build,  the bombastic finale takes flight with both themes in various forms playing simultaneously.  A rapid iteration of the chorale theme is sounded one more time before the piece ends with a boom.

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