Rivalries

Chamber Orchestra

Daniel Asia

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Quick Overview

"Rivalries" (for small orchestra) is, as the title suggests, a somewhat zealous, almost aggressive work. It pits the individual sub-groups of the orchestra against each other, and is concerned with their breakdown and recombination and their ultimate union at the conclusion of the work. The music is characterized by busy and intricately shifting textures, a propulsive rhythmic sense, and pervasive free jazz flavor, whose center is the ?jazz trio? of soprano saxophone, piano and bass.

The work is in four movements, played without pause. The first movement presents the materials of the work in an episodic manner, highlighting the normative sub-groups of the orchestra. The pattern of tension-release that occurs throughout the work is established here. The second movement is formed of a succession of instrumental solos and duets, particularly featuring the flute and soprano saxophone. It culminates in a rhythmic unison of two sixteenths followed by a sixteenth rest, played by the entire orchestra, a rhythmic motive initially heard in the first movement, and to be heard somewhat obsessively in the fourth.

The third movement, slow and subdued, is based on a motive found in the first movement played by the soprano saxophone. Here the motive is expanded to produce a long color melody (Klangfarbenmelodie), providing a brief and quiet respite and acting as a bridge into the fourth movement. The fourth movement is developmental and allows for a fuller and richer interaction of materials already heard. The movement culminates in a grand climax, followed by a brief coda suggestive of the opening of the work.

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Additional Information

Composition Date 1980-81
Duration 00:14:00
Orchestration 1 1 1 1 S.Sax. - 1 1 1 0; Timp. 4Perc. Pno. Str.
Premiere February 18, 1982. Oberlin Contemporary Ensemble.

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