Stephen Syverud

Five Pieces for Chamber Orchestra

(flute/pic, oboe/CA, trumpet, percussion, strings)

Audio sample-beg. Second Movement (.mp3)

Score-2nd M, pg.1&2 (.pdf - Click here to acquire Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Program Notes:

Interludes occur before and after the third movement/piece separating the composition into three sections: the first two movements, the third movement, and the final two movements. The interludes are performed without conductor as short chamber interruptions consisting of only a few instruments (first interlude: clarinet, xylophone, and percussion; second interlude: flute and vibraphone). The second movement is a palindrome (the second part is essentially a retrograde of all pitches, rhythms, dynamics, and instrumentation heard in the first part). The fourth movement is a summing up of the harmonic vocabulary exploited earlier in the piece and prepares for the final movement which restates and further develops motivic material found in the previous movements. The first movement begins with a seven measure introduction exposing the twelve tone row on which the entire composition is built. Serial techniques include permutations which completely reorder the intervals as well as segmentation (the use of portions of the series without use of the entire series). As a result, many times three or four element sets are useful in revealing how the composition is put together. The row governs not only the ordering of pitches, but the same serial procedures are used to establish dynamics, attack points, some release points, and occasionally the order in which instruments unfold within a particular movement. The third movement features a motive of several measures treated in a polyphonic manner. The movement is not a fugue, but employs many traditional contrapuntal procedures.

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