FOCUSING

Composer: 

Print Edition Price: 

$39.95 score
$42.95 set of 7 parts
$74.95 score with set of 7 parts

Year Authored (or revised): 

2016

Scoring: 

cl, bsn, tpt, tbn, perc (vibraphone, 5 temple blocks, 2 tom-toms) vln, cb

Instrumentation : 

septet

Duration (min): 

20

Movements-Titles: 

Aligning the Stars
Dancing
Starting and Stopping
In Pursuit

First Performance: 

February 26, 2016 by Deviant Septet

Composed for the ensemble Deviant Septet, Focusing is scored for the ensemble of instruments that is used by Igor Stravinsky in his work l’Histoire du Soldat. This work, written in 1918, is theatrical, performed with narrator and dancer – and, as stated in the front of the score, “To be Read, Played and Danced.” The ensemble, resembling a miniature orchestra, features violin and double bass, clarinet and bassoon, trumpet and trombone, and percussion.

Focusing is a concert work without narrative, inasmuch as that is possible given the particularity of the instrumentation and the embracing presence of Stravinsky’s work. Focusing has four movements, 1. “Aligning the Stars,” 2. “Dancing,” 3. “Starting and Stopping,” and 4. “In Pursuit.” In addition to the orchestration, there are suggestions of Stravinsky’s work in these titles, as, for example, “Dancing” begins with the ‘dancing’ of the violin, calling to mind the “Tango, Waltz, and Ragtime” of l’Histoire du Soldat. Still, musical connections are mostly hidden, emerging in moments of focus.

Focusing was commissioned in 2013 by the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress, and dedicated to the memory or Serge and Natalie Koussevitzky. Most of the composing was accomplished in 2014, with finishing touches applied in 2016, the year of the premiere performance by Deviant Septet.

Ensemble Type: 

mixed instrumental ens 6 to 15 players
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