The View from the Roof

for 3 Orchestras

Peter Schickele

Publisher: Elkan-Vogel, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

One of the most influential aspects of my teenage years in Fargo, North Dakota, was the degree of intergenerational music making that went on. The players in the quite ambitious community orchestra ranged from junior high school students to retirees, and the frequent chamber music evenings in various homes included the same variety of players, not only in terms of age, but of profession as well: students, teachers (not necessarily of music) and business people. My first three operas were performed in living rooms; one of these short and highly topical works even had a chorus, which consisted of everybody at the party who wasn?t playing an instrument or singing a lead role. I came into the world, compositionally speaking, writing for greatly varied levels of accomplishment.

One of the works played by the Fargo-Moorhead Community Orchestra was the Vaughan Williams "Concerto Grosso" for three string orchestras of varying levels: the simplest parts, as I recall, used only open strings. There is no thrill like the thrill of playing music with others, and the idea of being able to be part of the excitement of a large orchestral performance, even at an early stage of advancement, that has always appealed to me. I wasn?t much of a bassoonist when I started playing in the Fargo-Moorhead Community Orchestra, but they had to take me (since there weren?t any other bassoonists in Fargo-Moorhead), and I loved every minute of it (although I still cannot to this day remember whether I nailed or flubbed the high ?A? in the first movement of Sibelius? Second Symphony). And I remember how my brother, who later became an almost fanatic chamber music player, got so discouraged with the violin as an early teenager that he almost quit; getting into the orchestra was what revived his determination.

So I was especially pleased to be asked to write a piece for the InterSchool Orchestras of New York, tailoring the level an instrumentation of the three orchestras tot he situation at hand. The middle three movements are written for each orchestra alone, so that they can have something to play on one of their own programs, and the outer movements are written for all three orchestras together. I live in a Brooklyn brownstone, and the five movements (Park, River, Cemetary, Playground and Street Fair) are named after things I can (or at least could, on the right day) see from my roof.

Available on Rental

Additional Information

Composition Date 1989
Duration 00:18:00
Orchestration Orch. I: 2Fl. Str.(Vln.I, Vln.II, Vcl.) Orch. II: 2 1 1 1 - 1 1 0 0; Perc. Str. Orch. III: 2 2 2 2 - 2 2 0 0; Timp. Perc. Str.