SUNBURST for PIANO QUARTET

PROGRAM NOTES

This two-movement work explores the energy in sunlight. The first movement, titled Reflect, focuses on the frenetic, scattered motion of light waves. The music contains only a few short gestures, but it jumps to and between them at speed, as if it were following a ray of light over contrasting surfaces. Each gesture is imbued with that same, active motion, exemplified by the use of extreme ranges in the piano and tightly interlocked rhythms in the ensemble. Contrarily, the patient second movement, titled Absorb, acts as a solar-powered circuit. The music begins in the low register and breathes slowly while the circuit receives and stores energy. As the power accumulates, the electricity begins to hum, an effect that is personified by drones in the violin and viola. Finally, after flickering on and off, the movement climaxes with a powerful release of energy, followed by a steady, sequential descent in register as the circuit runs out of power.

 

Composition Details

Completed in 2016 and premiered on May 2nd, 2017 by the East Side Quartet at Carnegie Hall. The piece was commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony as part of the First Music Program.

 

Instrumentation

Piano Quartet (Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano)

 

Duration

~10 minutes

Recording

Performers: East Side Quartet

 

Score Link

Score Available Here

 

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