The Wind's Trace Rests on Leaves and Waves

Composer: 

Year Authored (or revised): 

2005

Instrumentation : 

2 violins, viola, cello, double bass

Duration (min): 

17

This quintet evokes the play of the wind over a seascape. The work consists of an alternation between two types of music. First, there are a series of sixteen chorales played by the entire ensemble, evenly interspersed throughout. At times they are homophonic, at others their texture is “animated”, but they always project a sense of concerted motion. They begin with a very bare octave sound, rooted on a low F. Over time, they become increasingly rich, using overtone relations as a model for their content and voicing. They cycle through a series of fundamentals, themselves derived from the series of partials off F, ultimately returning to that home “key”. Second, there are free passages between the chorales. These move through every possible combination of the ensemble---solos, duos, trios, quartets, and quintet. They are far more contrapuntal, fantastic, and often racing. I think of the alternation of these two elements as a classical colonnade, through which the wind is whipping. Finally, all these sections group into larger units corresponding to the course of a day: dusk/night/dawn/day. There should be a progression on all levels toward ever greater radiance. ---Robert Carl

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