Pierrot in America

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Pierrot in America

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Scoring & Instrumentation
Chamber Orchestra
2(2+picc)22(2+bcl)2 - 2220 - timp, 2 perc, pno - strings
Alternate Title

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Year Authored (or revised)
Duration (min)
22
Movements
1. He Arrives
2. Under the American Moon
3. Ride on the Pennsy
4. Pierrot's Dream
5. A Ball Game at Forbes Field, 1909
6. Columbine
7. Trip the Light Fantastic

Detail

Description

Composer's Note:

Composed for BIODANCE Dance Company, Missy Pfohl Smith, Artistic Director, and CORDANCIA Chamber Orchestra, Pia Liptak and Kathleen Suher, Artistic Directors. Pierrot in America may also be performed as a concert suite without dancers.

Commedia dell’arte is a form of theater known from the middle of the 16th-century. Professional theatrical groups performed and improvised throughout Europe and featured stock characters in familiar roles. One of these characters was Pierrot, the moonstruck clown, dressed in white. What if ...

Pierrot, weary of centuries of melancholy comedy, leaves Europe and comes to America in the wave of immigration at the beginning of the 20th-century. He arrives in the bustle of New York through Ellis Island, spending his first night under the American moon. Perhaps he reflects upon his old life in Europe, remembering his story as not yet told through Arnold Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire. Is it possible that Pierrot Lunaire will not be composed after he left Europe? Seeking to improve his prospects, he rides the Pennsy west to Pittsburgh, lurching through the hills of Pennsylvania and winding his way through the Horseshoe Curve. When he arrives, he dreams of his days ahead in this new world, his thoughts incomplete and uncertain. However, his fortunes improve, and he attends a baseball game at the brand new Forbes Field, adjacent to Schenley Park. He doesn’t understand much of the game, but the rough and tumble on the field and in the stands reminds him of his days improvising with the actors. Does he remember Columbine from the old days? This part of the story ends as Pierrot trips the light fantastic, returning to the theater as a song and dance man, coming full circle.

This is an immigrant’s story, a story like that of my immigrant grandparents, who came to America from Poland and Slovakia. It is written for them and for my own grandson.

Comments

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First Perfomance
3/6/2022, Biodance Dance Company/Cordancia Chamber Orchestra, Kodak Hall, Rochester, NY
Recording

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Text Language - Non English

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Text Source/Author

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Ensemble Type
chamber orchestra
orchestra
Genre/Theme
Instrument

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Files & Media

Audio

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Video

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Sample Pages

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$63.00 score
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