study scoreconcerto grosso for string orchestra (2012)
|Commission||Commissioned by the String Orchestra of Brooklyn and The Toomai String Quintet|
|Premiere||June 8, 2012; St. Ann's Church, Brooklyn, NY; The String Orchestra of Brooklyn with the Toomai String Quintet • Eli Spindel, conductor|
|Instrumentation||2 Solo Violins|
Solo Double Bass
String Orchestra (minimum 22.214.171.124.1, ideally 126.96.36.199.2)
|Rental||Performance materials are available for order:|
There are many things in High Windows that are old: the opening of the piece samples a fragment from one Paganini’s Caprices (No. 6 in G minor), the central section quotes an older piece of mine (Hoyt–Schermerhorn, for piano and electronics), and perhaps most prominently, High Windows is a sonata, a musical form which originated in the 17th century.
In using these old elements and putting them in a familiar order, I strove to create recognizable sign posts to guide the listener through the distinct sections of the piece. As a result, the focus becomes not these distinct sections, but rather the interaction between them: how they fit together, commingle, and discretely evolve and resolve. More than anything, though, the piece is an exercise in mixing these disparate elements--high and low, allusion and abstraction--to make something new.
The title High Windows is also a quote, and has two meanings. It is a reference to the literal windows of St. Ann’s Church in Brooklyn, the reverberant space for which I composed the piece; it also refers to a Philip Larkin poem in which the older author sums up the tumult of his youth with the lines:
[...] And immediately
Rather than words comes the thought of high windows: The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.
- Christopher Cerrone