Chamber Concerto (2000-2002)
for Violin, Piano, and Ensemble
Solo Violin, Solo Piano, (18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1.1.1)
Duration: 13 minutes
While by now the notion of concerto as metaphor for the struggle between the individual
and the collective is perhaps strained, I think it still provides a good frame for understanding
the narrative of such a work. Instruments become then characters and on a larger scale the
ramifications of their interaction over the course of a composition belies a certain humanity
beyond the abstract world of tones. This idea of characters at play, whether in something as
simple as basic counterpoint or something more complex, such as layers of musical sound, is a
concept I have been working with in my composition for some time now.
In composing my Chamber Concerto I hoped to explore a "counterpoint of layers" as it were;
instead of setting individual notes against each other, I aimed to set composites against each
other. To continue a fighting metaphor, it is the difference beyond two boxers and two squadrons.
In my concerto, the individual members of the orchestra coalesce into groups to assail or assist
the violin soloist in a lyrical struggle with the ensemble as a whole and its own perhaps nemesis,
the more mechanical piano. At the same time, by organizing into larger units, a collective manages
to enhance its point and in a way this challenges and perhaps contradicts the notion of individual
versus collective, in that, at the same time the individual struggles against and attempts to sway
the collective, the collective does the same for the individual, much as when groups unite to
confront a common enemy or a school of thought challenges an individual's views. Influence can derive
from both one and many.
The concerto was composed over a two year period punctured by a nearly one year hiatus when I stopped
composing all together. In some respects I see it as a retrospective work that sums up many of the
compositional ideas that had previously been in my mind, while at the same time remembering a lyricism
that characterized my earliest compositions.
- Ostrava, August, 2003
Zsolt Nagy, conductor
Theresa Salomon, violin
Reiko Futing, piano
26 August 2003
Ostrava, Czech Republic
Score in Preparation